UPDATE 12:20 AM, 7/11: Storms have diminished significantly in West Virginia — only a few showers are expected overnight in Southwest Virginia. However, with daytime heating, lingering deep moisture and the arrival of a cold front, additional showers and storms are expected to develop on Thursday, and locally heavy rain will again be possible. We’ll check back in Thursday morning to see how details may have changed overnight. END UPDATE
UPDATE 9:15 PM: Today was, as measured at the official Roanoke Regional Airport climate station, Roanoke’s rainiest July day on record — 3.88 inches through 8 p.m. — which brings the month to being the rainiest July on record — 10.32 inches — with 3 weeks left to go. Additional rain is possible later tonight as a line of storms moves in from the west. The line is weakening in intensity, but may still contain some heavy rain. END UPDATE
A cloudburst over much of the northern and northwest parts of the Roanoke Valley dumped in excess of 3 inches of rain within an hour this afternoon, causing flash flooding that is requiring rescues of building and stranded motorists. Roanoke is fast closing in on its record July total rainfall — only .26 off by 4 p.m. with 9.83 inches for the month and more expected this evening, let alone over the next 20 days of the month. A flash flood warning is in effect for Roanoke city/Salem/northeast Roanoke County until 6:30 p.m. Heavy rain has not been widespread across the area — radar precipitation total view shows spotty nature of 1+ amounts in green dots as of 4:30 p.m. — but the ground is so saturated that any even briefly heavy downpours pose the risk of flash flooding. That is why a flash flood watch remains in effect through 2 a.m. for the Roanoke Valley and Blue Ridge westward.
There is still a likelihood of dry and cooler weather for Friday and Saturday behind the cold front squeezing out more of the thick tropical moisture over us.