UPDATE 5:30 PM, 4/8: A day ahead of schedule, Roanoke hit 80 degrees on Monday, the first 80-degree reading since Oct. 25. Expect highs near or above that level both Tuesday and Wednesday at Roanoke, spreading to even more sites in Southwest Virginia. END UPDATE
The switch has flipped. Just 5 days after Thursday’s fast and furious April snowfall (news NWS-Blacksburg analysis linked), temperatures may well reach 80 degrees at Roanoke for the first time since October. Wednesday is likely to be the warmest day this week, as southwesterly wind flow around a strong central U.S. low-pressure system moving northeastward peaks. Many locations in Southwest Virginia are likely to be near or above 80 on Wednesday (NOAA graphical weather map for Wednesday at left projecting 82 for Roanoke, 79 for Blacksburg) with abundant sunshine. After that, an approaching cold front, pushed by the low moving toward the Ohio Valley and/or Great Lakes, will increase the chance of showers and thunderstorms — some of which may be strong to severe — by late Thursdaya and Friday. Numerous severe storms are likely in the state’s west of us through midweek. This is truly a classic spring pattern, following on the heels of an extended winter pattern. Once the front passes, temperatures will back off a bit for a few days (maybe a day with highs only in the 50s, lows 30s/low 40s), but will recover late in the weekend and early next week back to highs at least in the 70s before another low and cold front approach about the middle of next week. We may be in this repeating pattern of warmups, short cool-downs and chances of showers/thunderstorms in between for the rest of April and much of May too.