UPDATE 12:20 AM, 12/5: Not quite records on Wednesday — 72 at Roanoke and 66 at Blacskburg fell 4 and 2 degrees short, respectively. An overnight/early morning cold front might bring a few showers, but don’t expect much. Wednesday will be somewhat cooler with upper 50s/low 60s highs and Thursday will actually be pretty close to early December norms with upper 40s/lower 50s highs and mid 20s to low 30s lows. END UPDATE
The winter of 1982-83 produced 35 inches of snow at Roanoke including a massive eastern U.S. blizzard on Feb. 10-12 that dumped 12-20 inches of snow on much of Southwest Virginia. But it also produced some blazing early December temperatures. The Dec. 4 record highs for Roanoke (76) and Blacskburg (68) were set in 1982. Blacksburg’s could be challenged on Tuesday, while Roanoke’s will probably come up a little short in the low 70s after Monday’s high of 73 broke, by 3 degrees, a 69-year-old record for Dec. 3. Blacksburg’s 66 came up 5 degrees short of its record Monday, which was also set in 1982 … but the low of 47 did tie the 1991 record for warmest Dec. 3 low temperature on record. Tuesday will be the last day of this really warm spell before a cold front comes through Tuesday night or early Wednesday. There will be a slim chance of showers with the front, which will bring cooler though not dramatically colder air. Highs will drift back into the upper 50s/low 60s on Wednesday and then likely back into the 50s areawide Thursday and Friday before recovering back into the 60s for the weekend, with lows back near or below freezing for the latter part of the week.
A stronger cold front is on the way early next week, which may be accompanied by a low-pressure system to our northwest that may be able to tap enough Gulf of Mexico moisture for more rain than we’ve seen in a while. The front will also likely bring substantially colder air, at least for a couple days. Step by step, starting with this storm, I think we’re headed for a colder weather pattern as we move deeper in December, but don’t expect a deep freeze in a flash. While the drift after this week may be toward more wintry weather, don’t expect snow drifts any time soon.