Blacksburg's normal high temperature slipped below 80 degrees 5 days ago, and Roanoke's follows suit in 5 more days. But the thermometer isn't going to be paying attention to calendar anytime soon.
Persistent warm to hot weather is likely to continue in our region for at least the next 7-10 days, and quite possibly 2 or 3 weeks. Perhaps more ominously, unless a tropical system intervenes, there is also little prospect for widespread rainfall as dry conditions bordering on outright drought continue to spread, eased only in a spotty manner by whatever showers and storms can pop up in the heat and humidity.
The best we can do for a temperature break is occasionally banking enough moisture on easterly winds against the mountains to cloud us up for a while, as happened Monday morning. But generally we are going to see 80s highs and 60s lows over the next week or two, occasionally even topping 90 degrees for the Roanoke Valley and points south and east.
High pressure will dominate much of the continental United States for the next week or two. A couple of weak fronts may be pushed southward into the Great Lakes and Northeast -- perhaps one this weekend that will increase our chance of showers and storms a bit and offer a day or two of slightly cooler weather -- but there continues to be no sing of an autumn gut punch to summer on the horizon.
We'll continue to keep an eye on the tropics for whatever may arise as the next tropical storm or hurricane threat. There are some disturbances cruising westward across the Atlantic now but nothing that is an imminent threat. As Dorian showed, we can go from a marginal situation to an extreme catastrophe very quickly. There is also the flip side that our region needs rain and could use an injection of tropical moisture, if it doesn't get too carried away, until such time as we can dig some fall storm systems far enough south to scoop the Gulf of Mexico.