Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Tues., Jan 19

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Headlines 

A very active pattern

Wintry mix Wed night/Thurs morning?

Rain and storms for the start of next week

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Mostly cloudy. Perhaps a sprinkle or two, especially in the morning hours.

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Rain showers develop overnight, possibly beginning as a wintry mix.

Thursday: A wintry mix is possible in the very early morning hours, followed by plain rain showers.

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy.

Saturday: Sunny

Sunday: Partly cloudy, with clouds increasing. Showers possible by evening, and then into the overnight hours.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Concerns

Just be aware that rain showers could start out as a light wintry mix of freezing rain and snow after midnight Wednesday. This could last into the very early morning hours of Thursday. This should be a very narrow window of wintry opportunity, and this should be out of here and be just plain rain by sunrise Thursday. Just be aware of this if you know you’ll be out and about from midnight to 6:00 am Thursday. I’ll keep a close watch on this for ya.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion

This active pattern we’re in will bring another disturbance into our region by Wednesday night. That precip could move in before temps are able to rise above freezing. Any precip that falls into that subfreezing air will likely fall as some light freezing rain/snow mix. Be aware of this if you must be out late Wednesday night (after midnight) into the very early hours of Thursday. Right now it looks like the window of opportunity for wintry weather will be narrow, as temps should quickly warm above freezing. Hopefully, if this occurs it will occur while many of us are asleep and be over with before many of us head to work Thursday morning.

A big pattern change will come by the end of the weekend. That could lead to some heavy rain and thunderstorms for Monday. Believe it or not, there are even signals that parts of Tennessee may deal with some severe weather from that system. I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on that.

On This Day in Wx History

1977 – Snowflakes were observed at Homestead and Miami Beach in extreme southern Florida.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 86° at Camarillo, Ojai, California & at Falcon Lake, Texas 

Low: -1° at Picabo, Idaho

Today’s National Wx Hazards

Snow accumulates across the Ohio Valley and northward to New England. More snow will fall across parts of the Midwest. Even more snow can be found across the Four Corners region, as well as across extreme northern Idaho and northwest Montana. Dangerous fire weather conditions will develop across coastal southern California.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

You’ll notice our neck of the woods highlighted in mixed wintry precip. That’s for the overnight hours, as discussed earlier in this blog. Elsewhere, snowflakes will accumulate from West Virginia to Vermont, as well as along the US/Canada border of the Great Lakes region.

 Weather Shots

Yesterday’s sunset was just incredible. We’ve been so blessed with good sunsets here lately! I’m glad I was able to grab the camera before it all ended.

NASA Nerdology 

This is Meteorite ALHA81005, the first rock found on Earth to be identified as a meteorite from the Moon. It was found in Antarctica on this day in 1982.

You all have a great day!

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Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Mon., Jan 18

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Headlines 

A very active pattern!

Snow flurries tonight

Wintry mix Wednesday night/Thursday morning?

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Mostly cloudy. Flurries develop overnight, w/ no accumulation expected at this time.

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy. A chance for a sprinkle or flurry.

Wednesday: Increasing clouds. A light wintry mix possible overnight.

Thursday: Possible morning wintry mix, followed by rain showers as temps warm.

Friday: Chance of morning showers. Otherwise, partly to mostly cloudy.

Saturday: Partly cloudy.

Sunday: Showers likely.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Concerns

Overnight lows Wednesday will fall below freezing, just as a new storm system is moving in from the south. There is a chance, albeit small, that the rain will arrive before temps are able to climb above freezing. If that should happen, there could be a glaze of ice around the area late Wednesday night and possibly into Thursday morning. Confidence is low on this occurring but stay tuned for any updates. This would likely not be a snow situation, as warm air aloft would likely lead to this being a light freezing rain event. Any ice that does occur would be light and short-lived, as warm air will win out by the mid morning hours of Wednesday, at the latest.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion

I’ve created four different seven-day outlooks this morning (ha). The struggle is real when it comes to winter weather forecasting for the plateau! First of all, we have another disturbance coming through tonight. That could lead to another round of snow flurries. At this time, I don’t even see us getting a dusting from this one. I’ll keep an eye on it though. If it can tap into a bit more moisture I’ll make a special blog post this evening to update you.

The greater concern, and it is of low confidence, is the small chance for a light wintry mix Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This is one of those situations where little to nothing is likely to happen, but since it’s an ice potential, we all know it only takes a spit of ice to make for a travel problem. I’ll keep a close eye on this. The most we would get would be a glaze of ice from the rain beginning as a wintry mix. Again, I’ll keep an eye on this and let you know if anything changes.

As precip ends Thursday night, we could see another round of wintry weather but my confidence is so low on that happening that I didn’t mention it in the forecast above. After that, the forecast begins to focus on a rain-maker coming Sunday.

This is a very active pattern and that means there is the potential for quickly changing forecasts. Be sure and stay tuned!

On This Day in Wx History

1994- A record cold air mass pushes into the mid state. The high temperature reaches just 10 degrees at Nashville. The plateau is especially hard-hit, as Crossville checks in with a low of -8.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 91° at Camarillo, Beverly Hills, and Pala California 

Low: ° (data unavailable today)

Today’s National Wx Hazards

Snow flakes are flying from the Ohio Valley to New England today. More snow can be found from the Four Corners region to the northern plains.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

Snow flakes will fly from New England to the northern plains. Another area of snow will be found right on the Four Corners region of the Southwest.

 Weather Shots

I awoke to another dusting of snow this morning! I’m getting used to this (ha). And, like a typical Tennessee snow, it’s already melting and about gone by mid-morning.

NASA Nerdology

On Saturday, we conducted a hot fire test of the core stage for the @NASA_SLS rocket that will launch @NASAArtemis missions to the Moon. Find out more about the test: https://go.nasa.gov/3nPGwNt. NASA expects this rocket to be ready to slingshot us around the Moon by the end of this year!

A lot of folks say this all feels like Deja Vu. We’ve already been to the Moon, so why go back? Truth is…that was a long time ago and technology has improved by leaps and bounds. We want to go back safer and faster this time. Plus, we need to perfect going to the Moon, so that we can go to Mars more safely and efficiently. Let’s just hope the Biden administration is as generous to NASA as the Trump administration was……….

You all have a great day!

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Sunday Evening Snow Update

Some of you have been seeing the snow flurries flying around out there this evening. With temps above freezing areawide, no accumulation is expected with this first round of activity.

Later tonight, another disturbance will bring another shot of snow flurries and this is when we could get a dusting or so of snow. Areas north of the interstate have the best chance for snow and areas along and north of a line from Livingston to Jamestown may even pick up a half inch of snow from this activity. In other words, like I said in this morning’s blog, the closer you live to Kentucky the better your chances of picking up a bit of snow tonight.

You all stay warm and be careful if you have some snow on the road in the morning.

The snow scale remains unchanged from this morning’s outlook.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Sun., Jan 17

Headlines 

More snow flurries tonight

Chilly days ahead

Rain showers arrive Wednesday night

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Mostly cloudy. Snow flurries develop overnight w/ up to a dusting of accumulation.

Monday – Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy.

Wednesday: Increasing clouds. Rain develops overnight.

Thursday – Friday: Showers likely.

Saturday: Partly cloudy.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Concerns

The best chance for a dusting of snow will be north of the interstate. The closer to Kentucky you are the better your chances.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion

At one point this morning, I reduced my confidence to “low” for tonight’s dusting of snow. I then went back and looked at a bit more data and moved my confidence back to “medium”. It’s been a dramatic morning, as you can tell (ha). Areas north of the interstate certainly have the best chance for snow flurries or a snow shower and those chances increase the closer to the Kentucky border you are.

Another rain system moves in by Wednesday night, but models sure have backed off on precip. If this trend continues, rain chances will drop from 50% to 30% even for Thursday. I’ll keep an eye on that.

There are no clear signs of any wintry weather in any of the data from yesterday, last night, or this morning. There had been hints at wintry precip for Friday, but that’s all but completely gone now. Such is the way with extended model data. Trends could still flip back, so I’ll watch it closely.

On This Day in Wx History

1999- About 350 homes and 25 businesses receive damage from straight-line winds in Columbia, Tennessee. At the Shady Brook Mall, huge panes of glass at the entrance are shattered. Forty mature trees are uprooted at the Graymere Country Club. There is $400,000 in damage to the Pepsi Cola plant alone. Overall, $4 million in damages are reported in the city. Elsewhere, softball-sized hail is reported at Pulaski, damaging numerous vehicles. This is the largest known hail ever to fall in Tennessee’s history.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 93° at Camarillo, California 

Low: -4° at Terreton, Colorado

Today’s National Wx Hazards

Snow flakes are flying across the Midwest and Northeast today, as well as across the northern plains.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

Snowflakes fly across the Midwest again, as well as along the Front Range of the Rockies and the northern plains.

 Sunday Story

Predicting the weather would be challenging enough if there were only one layer of the atmosphere to be concerned with. The fact is that the atmosphere is made up of multiple layers that each behave like a fluid. 

In other words, the atmosphere is like a river, with different layers moving at different speeds, with different temperatures, all changing by the minute. 

When a forecast is made, all layers must be considered. Unfortunately, data from the highest levels of the atmosphere is rather scarce. We rely on weather balloon launches to give us some of that data, while satellite observations provide a bit more. Overall, both offer very limited amounts of data. 

Here at the surface we have an abundance of observations due to an abundance of weather stations here on the ground. 

One example of how important it is to understand all the layers is when we have snow in the forecast. While cold surface temperatures are needed for snow, cold air is drier air. As a snowflake falls into that drier air, it can evaporate. So, while the layer the snow begins in is moist, the air it may fall into could be too dry for snow. 

Sometimes it takes so long for the falling snow to moisten up the surface air mass that all the snow evaporates before ever reaching the ground.  

During severe weather, each layer must be analyzed for wind speed and direction, as well as moisture content. Calculating the tornado risk is dependent upon properly understanding each layer’s behavior. 

An analysis of each layer is necessary to get a forecast right. Just one piece of missing or misunderstood data can completely bust a forecast. 

Considering there’s about 60,000 thousand feet of atmosphere to analyze, it’s a wonder we ever get a forecast right! 

Data from a weather balloon launch. Meteorologists, such as myself, analyzing the data from the surface up, analyzing moisture, wind speed, and temperature as they change with height.

You all have a great day!

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