UPDATE 6 AM, 10/8/2019: Some rain has fallen Monday evening into early Tuesday mainly west of the Blue Ridge and Roanoke Valley, with amounts generally greater the farther west one is located, though most locations that got rain received under 1/4 inch. Roanoke's airport rain gauge had received 0.14 inch in the pre-dawn hours, though not all parts of the Roanoke Valley have gotten as much. The impetus for producing damp weather will shift today from the lift associated with an upper-level trough to the west, its dynamics pulling away to the northeast, to that of another "wedge" as northeast winds bank cool air and moisture against the mountains, augmented by an offshore low that may develop tropical characteristics. This will result in low clouds, periods of drizzle or light rain in some areas, and temperatures that will stall near this morning's readings in the mid 50s to lower 60s, if not lose a couple degrees. Rainfall amounts will again generally be under 1/4 inch, though a few spots benefiting from northeasterly upslope flow may get a little more. The wedge will slowly break down on Wednesday and we will continue with fairly seasonal temperatures (60s-70s highs, 40-50s lows) and mostly dry conditions the remainder of the week. END UPDATE

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Summerlike heat appears to be defeated this fall, but the drought is still very much an ongoing issue. 

Some spots have gotten some brief showers since Saturday evening. Showers will increase in coverage mainly west of Roanoke on Monday and Monday night as a cold front approaches, albeit slowly. The high pressure system that has "wedged" cool, damp air against the mountains will be shifting east, with its backside rotation pulling some Gulf of Mexico moisture northward for the front to lift.

But the showers are likely to be thinning out as they advance over the mountains as the front weakens. A developing low pressure system off the East Coast may also pull in some drier air (at first) from the north. There may also be some tendency for some of the energy to jump from inland over us to the new low, something snow fans are familiar with robbing snow potential in winter. The National Hurricane Center gives this system, which will start out as a non-tropical low, a 30% chance of developing into a subtropical or possibly fully tropical cyclone, staying well offshore as it does.

So rainfall amounts do not likely to be large, probably less than half an inch for most, perhaps even less than a quarter inch. The best chances of getting more than that would be west of Roanoke, where there may even be a few storms with locally heavy rain. True, every little bit helps, but this probably isn't going to be the drought-buster or even much a drought-easer that many people are looking for.

The passage of the cold front and the circulation of the offshore low will again turn winds to the northeast later this week, so we'll again have cool damp air wedged against the mountains. As some Atlantic dampness banks against the mountains, a chance of rain showers may extend into Tuesday or Wednesday. Temperatures may not get above 60 on Tuesday in thick cloud cover, maybe Wednesday too. 

Even when the sun finally pops out later in the week, we'll see seasonable 60s/70s highs and 40s/50s lows into the weekend, when the arrival of another cold front (probably dry) could lead to some locally frosty temperatures in rural valleys. 

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Contact Kevin Myatt at kevin.myatt@roanoke.com. Follow him on Twitter @kevinmyattwx.

 

Since 2003, Kevin Myatt has penned the weekly Weather Journal column, and since 2006, the Weather Journal blog, which becomes particularly busy with snow. Kevin has edited a book on hurricanes and has helped lead Virginia Tech students on storm chases.

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