We hit 100° for the second day in a row across much of the area today. Richmond International Airport officially hit 101°, which was 2 degrees shy of the record. Heat index values during the afternoon ranged from about 100 to 120°.
GUSTY STORMS WITH HEAVY RAINFALL
Strong and a few severe thunderstorms moved through the area between 3 and 7 pm. Thunderstorm wind damage was reported in Amelia, where some trees were down.
The slow-moving storms dropped heavy rainfall in some spots. The heaviest estimates from doppler radar showed some 2-3"+ totals across a large portion of Hanover county.
While the muggy environment provided ample fuel for torrential rainfall, the storms were scattered enough that many locations did not even see one drop of rain.
HUGE TEMPERATURE DROP
The thunderstorms also provided a temporary cooling effect. CBS 6's Wayne Covil drove from the James River Bridge to the I-64/Broad St/Parham Rd area just after 5:30pm. He reported that the temperature dropped from 98° to 78° in a span of about 15 minutes as he traveled westward.
THE HEAT CONTINUES
We will see just a very minor drop in temperatures for Sunday. Highs should fall just short of 100°. The combination of heat and humidity will produce heat index values between 100-110° -- slightly less than the past few days. For this reason, the excessive heat warning has expired and been replaced with a heat advisory for Sunday.
MINOR RELIEF IN SIGHT
A cold front will pass through the area Monday night and Tuesday, allowing less humid air to filter into the area. Highs will be just a bit cooler (lower 90s) and humidity levels should drop a bit (dew points dropping from the mid 70s to the low/mid 60s). This will be short-lived, however -- an increase in heat and humidity will return by the end of the week.