Wednesday’s Weather Journal column: July rates high for rainfall, and month isn’t over yet
Latest Roanoke Times news update on local power outages, storm problems
UPDATE 5:30 PM, 7/17: Radar shows storms scattered mainly south of the U.S. 460 corridor (Bluefield-Blacksburg-Roanoke-Bedford-Lynchburg) moving south to southwest. Heavy rain, gusty winds, frequent lightning and hail remain possible in any storms. The threat seems to be diminishing for the Roanoke and New River valleys this evening. END UPDATE
UPDATE 3:20 PM, 7/17: A new cluster of strong to locally severe storms moving southwest from Rockbridge County into Botetourt County may affect the Roanoke Valley after 4 p.m. on this Wednesday. Gusty winds, torrential rain, frequent lightning and hail possible with any pop-up storms today, large or small. END UPDATE
UPDATE 11:35 PM, 7/16: Before the storms, Roanoke hit 94 and Blacksburg 89, the hottest temperatures so far in 2013. Tuesday’s storms were ferocious for some — especially the same areas of north Roanoke city/county hit hard on June 13, June 26 and July 10 — but total misses for others not far away — much of south Roanoke and adjacent Roanoke County, for example. Expect a similar pattern on Wednesday — hot temperatures (mid 80s to low 90s, mostly), scattered afternoon storms, a big deal for some and just distant rumbling, if that, for others. The leftovers of today’s storms, both with outflow winds and debris clouds, will have some impact on where storms form Wednesday. END UPDATE
Trees down on Florist Road, NW Roanoke. Photo by Tiffany Holland / The Roanoke Times
(UPDATED 7:25 PM) A severe storm has slid southwest through the northern and western sections of Roanoke Valley with a 61 mph wind gust at Roanoke Regional Airport (the 3rd severe wind gust of the summer), reports of penny to quarter-sized hail, and torrential downpours, running up the already historic July rain total at the official gauge (at least 1.15 6 to 7 p.m., running monthly total to 11.99, the 5th rainiest month since 1912). This storm will affect parts of the New River Valley near Interstate 81, and additional storms are popping up around the area. Another severe storm moved through parts of Franklin County. I will follow up here with additional information on the storms as it becomes available.