Flurries for the plateau, major winter storm for the East Coast

 

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Today should be the warmest day we have until Sunday. We should get to 30 degrees today, but these clouds may have something to say about that. We’re currently 20 degrees and it’s going to be a struggle to get to 30 from here with all these clouds. Plus, we have a major winter storm developing to our south and the circulation around that low is liable to keep us in chilly northerly breezes today. So, I’m optimistically going with 30 degrees for a high, but don’t be surprised if we fall a bit short of that.  We could also see a stray snow flurry today, too, so don’t be surprised if you see one or two.

Tonight, we have a strong arctic front coming through. This will bring another reinforcing shot of very cold, arctic air. We will be in the teen for highs again tomorrow, with flurries.  We may even see some snow showers that could drop a dusting of snow. I’ll keep an eye on that. The Morristown NWS office has issued wind chill advisories for Morgan and Scott counties for tonight and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nashville puts us under wind chill advisories as well. The Nashville office covers Cumberland and Fentress counties (we’re as far east as that office covers).

By Sunday we start to warm up and we may even hit 40 degrees! Southerly winds should begin to increase and that will help bring in warmer air. We want this to happen because our next storm system is moving in Sunday night (as it looks right now). The timing of the arctic air departing and the precipitation arriving will be critical. As of right now, this does not look like a snow scenario. If anything, it would be an ice scenario, which is something we definitely do not want. I think the only problems would be at the onset of precip, when temps may be hovering around freezing. But, it only takes a little bit of ice to make roads awful. I don’t think this is an ice storm situation, as confidence is very high that we’ll stay above freezing for most of this precipitation event. I’ll be watching it, as you know.

Last night’s low temperature was 13 degrees at 12:49 a.m. This was 3 degrees warmer than I thought it would be. Clouds moved in a bit quicker and saved us from getting down to 10.  We’ll take any improvement we can get, right? And that’s a lot better than the 1 degrees we were at yesterday morning!

The BIG weather news today is the winter storm developing off the Southeast coast. Tallahassee, Florida is seeing snow this morning! The last time they measured snow was in 1989. Places like Charleston, Savannah, Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks are all under winter storm warnings for measurable snow and ice! The storm will become a Nor’easter, which is a term we give to storms that move up the East Coast. They return a northeasterly wind to the coasts and thus the term “Nor’easter”. The storm will experience a sudden drop in pressure this evening and tonight, as conditions become perfect for rapid intensification. The storm will move over the very warm waters of the Gulf Stream current as a very powerful jetstream interacts with it. We call storms that rapidly intensify “bombs” and we say they are “bombing out” when the pressure starts dropping suddenly. This is similar to what we see with hurricanes. The storm may even form an eye at some point like a hurricane, as we’ve seen other powerful Nor’easters do in the past.

This storm will bring extremely heavy snow to parts of New England and blizzard warnings are in effect. Winds could also gusts to 100 mph as the storm nears the shore. Some models are forecasting the storm to have the pressure of a cat one or two hurricane. This isn’t unprecedented, but it’s certainly impressive!

I just saw an update that says that  at 8:30 this morning Tallahassee is now reporting 0.1″ of snow/sleet, which means they are measuring snow for the first time in 28 years!

This is from a traffic camera in Tallahassee earlier this morning.  You all have a great day and stay warm!

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