UPDATE 4:45 PM: The tornado watch has been lifted for Craig, Floyd, Carroll, Montgomery, Alleghany, Botetourt, Roanoke, and Rockbridge counties, along with the cities of Galax, Radford, Buena Vista, Covington, Roanoke and Salem. It continues from Franklin, Bedford and Patrick counties eastward. Some showers and a few storms may be possible into evening, but the atmospheric ingredients for severe storms and possible tornadoes have shifted east of Roanoke. END UPDATE
UPDATE 2PM: TORNADO WATCH ISSUED FOR MUCH OF VIRGINIA INCLUDING ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEYS END UPDATE
Sunshine is not a good thing when it’s this muggy, with increasing wind shear aloft and approaching front/disturbances that can create lift. The temperature has shot to 80 at Roanoke with upper 60s/low 70s dew points widespread across the region. This has added an element of increased instability to the mix of ingredients, and that will likely trigger some clusters/short lines of strong to severe storms this afternoon. A few storms may acquire rotation and become supercells. Strong downburst winds are the major severe weather threat this afternoon, though there is at least some risk of tornadoes with any storms that develop rotation. Even storms that aren’t technically “severe” (58+ mph winds, 1-inch hail or a tornado) will be capable of torrential, locally flooding rain (FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES INTO EVENING), frequent lightning, and gusty winds just below severe caliber capable of some tree/power line damage.