We had some good discussion on here Monday about the dense fog problems on Interestate 77 in the Fancy Gap area, which resulted in a series of pileups totalling nearly 100 cars and killing three on Sunday. Linked here is an article in today’ s Roanoke Times looking at the long-fought struggle to make that stretch of I-77 safer.
The cold pattern that has dominated the latter half of March is continuing the next few days with below-normal temperatures having been renewed by a cold front, and then, a likely soaking cold rain for Thursday and Friday . But the cold pattern is soon to come to a screeching halt, with spring warmth likely to set for a prolonged period by early next week. Highs will be in the 40s and low 50s through Friday, when normals are in the upper 50s to low 60s. (Lows will be in the 20s to low 30s tonight and Wednesday night, with normals about 10 degrees warmer.) A low-pressure developing along the Gulf and moving up the East Coast (yes, the classic major snowstorm path in winter or a more blocked pattern like a week and a half ago) is expected to bring widespread rainfall approaching or possible topping 1 inch by Thursday and Friday. While it is possible that it will be cold enough on the front end for some spotty sleet or wet snow, especially at higher elevations, any cold air deep enough to support prolonged wintry precipitation will be eroding as the moisture arrives without strong high pressure properly placed to keep colder air in place. Once the late-week rain is past, the subsequent cold front will not be particularly strong, and temperatures will bounce back quickly through the weekend and early next week as a new weather pattern takes hold. We only had one day in the 70s in all of March — next week should easily top that number.