Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!

Technically, we are less than two weeks from summer. You wouldn’t necessarily guess that given all the storms and heat of the past three months. The hottest day in Roanoke so far was May 20, when the temperature reached 96 degrees. It’s about 20 degrees above average for that day!

The first public holiday this year after the official start of summer is Independence Day. For July 4 itself in 2022, high temperatures are slightly above average with only a few showers expected. This can certainly put a damper on celebrations as much of the 4th is celebrated outdoors. Between fireworks, grills and pool party, here is a vacation where good weather is always welcome.

This year’s heat will bring the temperature above average, but we remain a good margin below the 4th record. The average high on July 4 in Roanoke is 86 degrees, but the record was 99, which coincidentally happened in 1999. Of the 5 hottest Independence Days in Roanoke, two of them were in the 21st century (2002 reached 96, and 2012 reached 97). Only slightly lower on the list of records is 2020 when the high was 95, which puts it in 7th place with 1934. The coldest temperature ever recorded is 68 degrees in 1962, which is within a few degrees from the July 4 mean low (64 degrees).

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In a notable coincidence, the high in 1999 reached 99 degrees
More than 30 degrees separate the hottest and coldest high temperatures

Most low temperatures for the 4th are average and remain in the 60s, but the coldest temperature on record was on the morning of the 4th in 1933, when the low was 48 degrees. This is closer to the lows of early April. On the warmer than average side, 2018 saw the hottest low on record at 74 degrees. 1999, the year the high hit 99, had a low of 73 degrees tied for second place with 2012. 2019 and 2020 came in at 71 and 70 degrees respectively.

Independence Day 1933 was the coldest start on record

About 4 out of 10 years see precipitation on Independence Day, and only a quarter of the days recorded received more than a tenth of an inch of rain. 2013 is the title holder with 1.66 inches that day alone. Only five other days on the record exceeded the 1-inch threshold.

More than half the time July 4 remains dry

Last year was a pretty typical 4th of July in many ways. The low was 61 (a few degrees below average) and in the afternoon the high rose to 85 (within 1 degree of average). The day remained dry with no rain recorded. Lynchburg and Danville were equally dry. Both of these cities had highs close to their averages, but their lows were a little below a typical year. Lynchburg’s minimum was 55 against an average of 65, and Danville went as cool as 57 when the average is 66.

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This year we are staying mostly dry, but after the 4th the showers and thunderstorms persist through the end of the week. You can download our weather app to get information on storms as they develop and get the latest updates from meteorologist Chris Michaels online.

You can always get specific forecast details for your area, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg area, New River Valley, or elsewhere around the southwest and central of Virginia, at any time at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we have great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are some featured stories from the past week:

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–Marshall Downing

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