Update (4/23): The first Brood I emergence (that we heard of) occurred in Roanoke, Virginia. Unfortunately, the sudden cold, wet weather seems to have hurt the early emerging cicadas.
The rest of this post was originally from March 11th, 2012:
Next week temperatures are forecasted to reach 79°F in the parts of Virginia, where Brood I Magicicadas are expected to emerge this year. That’s hot for March, but is it hot enough for the cicadas? Periodical cicadas typically emerge when the soil 8″ below the surface reaches 64°F. Although temperatures will be in the 70′s all week, that might not be enough to heat the soil to the necessary temperature, but stranger things have happened.
Last year Brood XIX Magicicada started emerging in Abbeville County, South Carolina after only 3 days of temperatures in the 70s.
My guess is temperatures won’t heat the soil enough to launch a full-blown emergence, but a few cicadas will emerge in the warmest and sunniest areas. Keep on the look out. Take photos and video. Report sightings to magicicada.org. Check the Magiciciada database for locations; places like Rockbridge, Page, Botetourt, and Bath counties…