For those of you reading this through TapTalk, we now have a ‘summary’ section and a ‘discussion’ section. The summary is just a brief explanation of the weather, while the discussion offers a bit more information. I began this over the weekend with meteorologistmark.com and will continue this now with TapTalk, as well.
Rain will move in from the west as we go through the day, and the winds will be picking up. The main line of rain, with embedded t-showers, is now approaching Nashville (8:30 a.m.) and is steadily moving eastward. It should arrive during the afternoon and persist through the evening hours. We should be drying out by 9:00 p.m., if not sooner. Total rainfall amounts should average around one half inch. Temps will drop behind tonight’s front, but this is not an arctic front. Therefore, temps will just drop to normal. A few flurries are possible Tuesday with any leftover moisture. No accumulation is expected. The rest of the week looks to be gradually warming and dry, with the next rain system arriving Saturday.
Below is the current location of our rain, moving east, at 8:30 a.m.
The front that will be moving through here tonight produced the first severe weather of 2018 as it moved across the lower Mississippi River Valley on Sunday. Tornado watches were issued during the afternoon and there were several warnings. At least two tornado reports look like they may verify, which would be the first tornadoes of 2018. Interestingly, the first severe weather watches of 2018 were tornado watches. We are yet to see the first severe t-storm watch box of 2018. The system is weakening as it moves east and will not bring any severe weather to TN.
Yesterday was the anniversary of our coldest ever recorded temperatures on the Cumberland Plateau. On January 21, 1985 a record low of -25 was reported at the UT Experiment Station, while the airport reported -21. That makes this latest arctic blast look silly! (ha) Incidentally, last night’s low was 53 degrees. Can you believe that? That’s 78 degrees warmer than the record low for yesterday! Heck, that’s at least 30 degrees warmer than this time last week!
Like I said in the summary above, this front coming tonight is not arctic in nature, though it will drop us back down to more normal readings for January. I don’t foresee another arctic blast anytime soon. This system coming in for Saturday looks to be a pretty good rain maker. The cold front with Saturday’s system will not be followed by arctic air, though it too will return us to normal temps for Sunday and into the following week.
So, I was looking at other records for today and saw this doozy I thought you’d find interesting. It’s from the beautiful state of South Dakota. The town of Spearfish is located in extreme western South Dakota, with Wyoming mountains not too far to their west. We all know that as winds move up a mountain they force the air to rise upward, creating clouds and possible showers/storms. We even see this effect on the Cumberland Plateau, especially in the summer time. As winds come back down the other side of a mountain they cause the air to sink and dry out. Sinking, dry air compresses and heats up. This can cause dramatic weather effects in mountainous regions like the Rocky Mountains.
The warmer, drier winds can come down the east side of the mountains and cause the air to heat up so quickly that it can be very efficient at melting snow. They call this wind the Chinook, which is a Native American term for “snow eater.” On the morning of January 22, 1943 the town of Spearfish had a very dramatic Chinook wind develop. As this warm wind came howling through town, the temperature rose from four degrees BELOW zero, all the way up to 45 degrees in only two minutes! That is the most dramatic temperature rise in world records. An hour and a half later an arctic cold front moved in and plunged them from their high of 54 degrees, back down to four below zero in 27 minutes. Now, folks, I don’t know about you, but that kind of a wild weather day is for the birds! (ha)
You all have a great Monday and keep those rain jackets handy. Tomorrow, I’ll share with you an event that happened here in Tennessee on January 23, 1963 that is sure to impress you! It’s a day in weather history that broke records that still stand today.