It’s hard to believe we’re moving into the first week of December with a five-day outlook that looks like that. It still looks like moisture will be quite limited with this cold front tomorrow, so don’t look for much rainfall at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us stay dry. The front is weak, so it will only drop temperatures a few degrees. It looks like we have a beautiful weekend in store for us! Enjoy it, I have a feeling the next weekend will be much more December-like.
Speaking of winter, have you heard about the snow in Hawaii? That’s right, it’s snowing in Hawaii! Actually, it snows there ever year in the highest elevations. The news loves to make headlines with this, though, and it does grab people’s attention. Winter weather advisories remain for the summits of the islands through tomorrow morning, with additional snowfall amounts of 2-4 inches expected. It is a bit early for them to be getting snowstorms, and since the weather is so quiet on the mainland these days, it’s interesting that Hawaii’s weather is so much less boring than ours! (ha) Here is a picture from Mt. Mauna Kea this morning. Meanwhile, it’s still going to be near 80 for high temps in Honolulu today.
Mauna Kea rises to 14, 000 feet, so it’s certainly high enough to be cold enough for snow. It’s actually the tallest mountain on earth, rising to 33,000 feet. The reason it’s not as high in elevation as Everest is because most of that 33,000 is underwater. We count elevation in feet above sea level, giving Everest the title of highest mountain on earth.
Looking at our records I noticed that today is the anniversary of our coldest November temperature ever recorded in Crossville. On the morning of November 29, 1955 we dipped to 5 degrees! Lordy, that’s cold, folks! We’re currently around 50 degrees, to put that in perspective.
Speaking of temperature, I shared this yesterday on social media but I’ll share with you here as well. As many of you know, yesterday was the anniversary of the Gatlinburg fires. One of the fires came very near to a weather station. Notice the numbers in the observation below. The station’s temperature hit 118 degrees as the fire approached, with winds gusting to 69 mph. The “feels like” temperature was 128 with 21% humidity. What an incredible observation!
Huge fires like this one are known for creating their own weather. The rising air from all the heat creates a vacuum for air surrounding the fire, creating winds blowing into the fires, which then makes them even bigger and worse. We already had gusty winds that evening, so the fires only made those winds worse (some gusted to 90 mph!). Sometimes, pyrocumulus clouds form over large fires like the one in Gatlinburg. We didn’t’ see this with the Gatlinburg fires but other large fires like this one have been observed to develop clouds above the fires, from all the rising warm air. We’ve even seen the clouds evolve into thunderstorms, dropping dirty rain water and even hailstones blackened with ash. When these pyrocumulus clouds produce lightning, they can ignite more fires and make the situation even worse. There are actually fire-weather chasers, which are people who chase big fires and record the weather they produce. Some of you have probably seen videos of fire tornadoes, swirling on the edge of the biggest fires and burning up everything they touch. That’s one kind of chasing I’ll choose to sit out!
You all have a great day and I’ll keep an eye on next week’s forecast. Big changes are coming, for sure. It looks like the front will begin affecting us Tuesday with showers and storms, followed by a big drop in temps. I’ll keep you posted! Meanwhile, it’s snowing in Hawaii. It just ain’t right folks, it just ain’t right…..