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A cold start to the new year!

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Our temperature at 8:52 a.m. has only climbed to 12 degrees here on the Cumberland Plateau. We will likely stay in the teens all day, with a bit of a breeze. The “feels like” temperature will stay in the single digits. Bundle up if you’re heading out!

Some of you may have noticed some flurries flying around outside this morning. This is one of those disturbances from the north. It has practically no moisture with it but when the air is this cold, any moisture whatsoever will get crystallized and fall as flurries. Cold air can’t hold moisture well at all. That’s why cold air is so dry and causes us to use chapstick and lotion. I’ve seen comments on Facebook that it was too cold to snow. That’s actually a myth; it never gets too cold to snow. Warmer air definitely holds moisture better, but it can still snow when temps are really, really cold.

There’s actually even a scenario where you can get snow with no clouds. Because cold air has such a weak capacity to hold moisture, any moisture that is in the air can be turned into ice crystals, whether or not there are clouds up above or not.¬† Folks usually call that diamond dust, because it sparkles so much in the sunlight. That usually occurs when temps are down around zero or much below zero (again, never too cold to snow).

I’m still looking for any chance of snow, and the closest we come could be Sunday. However, timing of that system is going to be critical. Temps will be rebounding by then and if we can get warm enough, we’ll just get a good cold rain event. If temps are slower to rebound, and the precip gets here when temps are still at or below freezing, we could be looking at some frozen precip. I’ll keep an eye on it. Right now, I think the majority of the precip will be rain, and that would be our first precip event of the new year. Again, I’ll be watching it (it’s still a week away) and I’ll let you know as soon as the forecast becomes clearer!

I hope you all have the best New Year’s Day and that you stay warm!

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