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The calm before some storms?

Today’s weather certainly seems very November-like. We’ll be lucky if we see much sun today, and if we do see sun it won’t be until this afternoon or evening. These clouds will also keep temps in the mid to upper 40s, so it’ll be a chilly day. Tonight the skies clear out a bit more and we’ll drop into the upper 20s to lower 30s.  By Tuesday we’ll be much sunnier and that will allow temps to climb into the low 50s. Tuesday night will be another frosty night, with temps in the mid 30s.

Our next storm system will begin moving in on Wednesday and that will bring some isolated rain chances by Wednesday evening and overnight Wednesday. Thursday looks pretty good at this point, with partly cloudy skies and highs near 60.

Friday is what may be a concern.  It’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Wind fields look impressive with the models, so that would increase our chances of damaging winds within the storms. As more data comes in, we’ll have a better handle of what exactly we can expect. For now, just keep in mind that Friday evening/night could be quite stormy around here. I’ll keep you posted!

After that front slips through our temps will drop back down to normal. I had mentioned last week that the longest range forecasts indicated that Thanksgiving could be mild. Now, it looks like Thanksgiving will be quite chilly. That’s typical of long-range forecasts, always changing. Another front should move through here the Wednesday before Thanksgiving that will bring a cold shot of air just in time for Thanksgiving. It’d be nice if it were cold enough for some flurries too! I should probably also mention that anything you see on social media about a snowstorm for us on Thanksgiving should be dismissed.  Those groups are just looking for your clicks and have no credibility. I would also suggest not following those groups and for sure don’t share their posts.  Just FYI.

I was just looking at the weather records and on this day in 1933 the visibility was as low as half a mile across the entire state of Tennessee. Why? Because dust from the Midwest was blowing through here from the Great Dust Bowl era of the 1930s! This was the first day of many more days that we would experience this.   The worst of the Dust Bowl hit in the mid 1930s. It just depended on which direction the wind was blowing as to where the dust would blow next. In May of 1934 the most severe of the dust storms carried 350 million tons of silt all the way to New York City, where, according to the New York Times, dust “lodged itself in the eyes and throats of weeping and coughing New Yorkers.” Ships 300 miles offshore had to sweep dust of their decks.

It’s interesting that the farmlands of Texas and Oklahoma were considered the most prosperous regions in the nation in 1930 and early 1931. But, in the summer of 1931 the rain stopped. In 1932 the drought was taking its toll, but by 1933 it was getting downright devastating. And then the soil just started blowing away. Rich topsoils that had taken nature at least a thousand years to perfect, where blown away in minutes in some of the most fierce dust storms. It wouldn’t be until 1939 that rain would return in enough bounty to produce crops again.

Changing farming practices have reduced the chances of such a catastrophic event from occurring there again, but the chances aren’t zero. Let’s just hope and pray we never see anything like the Dust Bowl again!

We’re soon approaching the one year anniversary of our East TN wildfires during our big drought of 2016. Drought and wind do not go together well! In the Dust Bowl the wind blew away the soil, around here the wind fans the flames of the wildfires. I’ll have much more on the wildfires as we come to anniversary dates of the fire. The first one is ten days from now, November 23. That was when the main fire was first started. More on that later!

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