Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Could July really end any other way?
Roanoke’s rainiest July on record will end with rain.
But it doesn’t appear it will be enough to vault July into first place for rainy months at any time of year.
Saturday’s rain — just 0.43 inches in Roanoke, though much more fell to the south, including on FloydFest — pushed this month past November 1985 into second place on Roanoke’s rainy months list, dating to 1912.
The month’s official rain total at Roanoke Regional Airport through Tuesday is 12.59 inches, more than the 12.36 that fell in November 1985, when the Roanoke Valley’s deadliest and most destructive weather event, the Flood of ’85, occurred.
Roanoke’s rainiest month, 16.71 inches in August 1940, looks very likely to remain atop the list. The rain that is expected to overspread the region this afternoon and evening will likely be widespread and light to moderate , unlikely to produce the intense downpours that could deliver the more than 4 inches by midnight needed to set a monthly rainfall record.
Today’s rain might, however, move this month a little further up Blacksburg’s list of rainy Julys.
Blacksburg has had 7.44 inches of rain so far in July, making it the third-rainiest July. Just 0.68 inches of rain would make it Blacksburg’s second-wettest July, passing the 8.11 inches of July 2003. It would take 1.92 inches to get past the record wettest July, 9.35 inches in 1992.
Blacksburg’s rainiest month is 10.96 inches in June 2006. Blacksburg official weather statistics go back to 1952.
What may be somewhat surprising to many Southwest Virginia residents is that July has not really been what could be described as a “cool” month.
In fact, average temperatures for July at Roanoke and Blacksburg are running a tiny bit above normal — a degree or less, close enough that it would generally be termed a normal month in temperature.
The trick is that while afternoons have mostly been a little cooler than normal, nights and mornings have been warmer than normal by a slightly greater margin, owing to thick humidity holding temperatures up at night.
So the average of highs and lows has tilted very slightly to the warm side.
Today will end July fittingly in that regard, too. After morning lows near or slightly above normal in the sticky 60s, it will probably not get out of the 70s in most places as thick clouds and rain increase during the day.
August will start with a little rain in its gauge as the soggy summer of 2013 continues.
Weather Journal runs on Wednesdays.
Weather JournalIcy mix moves in this Sunday AM