Several locations south and southwest of Roanoke got a dusting of snow overnight and early this Friday morning. Weather Journal commenter Johnny-KHLX sent this link to several snow photos he took this morning at Hillsville.
If there is a hint of a growing season left anywhere in Southwest Virginia after several cold mornings, it likely ends tonight and Saturday morning, even in the urban-heat-island areas of Roanoke city. With skies expected to clear and winds to calm, widespread lows in the 20s are expected for Saturday morning, with some mid-upper teens possible in a few particular icebox spots in rural outlying areas (you know if you live in one of those). Record lows for Oct. 26 could be challenged at Blacksburg (22 from 1962) and Roanoke (26 from 1933) if radiational cooling conditions (clear skies, calm winds) are maximized. (Projected Weather Prediction Center lows for Saturday morning shown at left.) This will likely be the coldest weather our region has seen since late March, between those two oddly snowfalls we got. Bring in your sensitive outdoor plants, and dress very warmly if you’re going to high school football games tonight. It will also be rather chilly for weekend events like the Virginia Tech-Duke football game Saturday afternoon and the big racing weekend at Martinsville.
We will slowly get milder through the coming week. A large storm system is expected to develop in the central U.S. with a variety of weather woes — severe storms, heavy rain, heavy snow — that may affect us with a rainy, windy cold front toward next weekend. There may even be a spike of unseasonable warmth ahead of this front for a day or two late next week. Most long-range indicators suggest the pattern that has brought cold weather to us this week will lose its grip pretty much entirely by the end of November’s first week, so what we’re seeing now isn’t the start of an early winter, but merely an early sample of it.