After a cloudy, chilly start to our day, we should see some sun peak out by this afternoon. The sunshine will help us warm into the mid 40s. Temps slowly warm as we go through the week, leading us up to our next rain maker that will arrive just in time for the weekend. That rain, however, will mostly fall in the overnight hours of Saturday. It looks like we may see about an inch of rain, which is about all we’ve had total for this whole month. Cooler air will follow the weekend system, but that will just take us back to highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. I continue to see no signs of any arctic air in our near future.
I didn’t mention it in the forecast above because it’s barely worth mentioning, but we could see a flurry this morning. I counted 4 snow granules on my car this morning. I think that puts us about 14 short of school being called off (ha). The next system of consequence will be the weekend system. It doesn’t look overly impressive at this point, but it will have access to a lot of moisture. I don’t see much of a chance for thunder, so we’ll just look for a good steady rain. I know it seems wet, and even a bit muddy, outside, but we’re actually needing some rain. Our monthly total here at weatherTAP is only 0.93″, so we haven’t even gotten an inch yet for this month. We average 4.76″ for January, so we’ll certainly finish the month well below average.
It’s not too surprising that we’re running dry on rainfall. Arctic air masses are dry air masses and so we don’t see much precipitation out of them. Even if we had gotten several inches of snow, the liquid equivalent would have been really low. Keep in mind, it takes an inch of water to get about a foot of snow. That would still just be an inch of our nearly 5 inches we should get for January.
Speaking of weather records, I noticed that today is the anniversary of the coldest temperature ever officially recorded in Middle Tennessee. The -30 degree reading occurred at Kingston Springs on January 24, 1963. Kingston Springs is about 20 miles west of Nashville on I-40. That reading was only two degrees away from Tennessee’s all-time record low temperature recorded at Mountain City on December 30, 1917. Mountain City is in the very northeast tip of the state, northeast of the Tri Cities. This arctic blast came on the heels of the strongest cold front in Middle TN history that I told you about yesterday. The winter of 1963 was a doozy, folks! Records show that as this cold front moved through, some places had 80-degree temperature drops within a 24-hour period of time. Like I said yesterday, over half a foot of snow fell with the front too. The Duck River in Middle TN froze from bank to bank for the first time since 1898 and harbors all along the TN River were froze solid. No one in Middle TN had seen a winter like this since the winter of 1951 ( I’ll have more on the horrendous winter of ’51 in the coming days).
As Tennessee winter weather goes, you can get about anything around here. As I’m talking about the cold records we’ve broken on this date, I also have to mention the terrible tornado outbreak we were hit with on this day in 1997. As for the plateau, F-2 tornadoes struck western Putnam County and southern Jackson County. A total of twelve twisters hit Middle TN, injuring 31 people. The strongest tornado, an F-4, struck near Murfreesboro. That storm later produced an F-2 at Center Hill Lake. Miraculously, no lives were lost in this entire outbreak. This was the 7th worst tornado outbreak in Middle TN history.
The weather can certainly get a little crazy around here in January! Thankfully, that’s not the case for this week. As always, I’ll keep my eye out for any indications of Ma Nature getting rowdy, and I’ll be the first to let you know!
You all have a great day!