Winds of change

Picture22

SUMMARY

Clouds will drift in and out today, gradually increasing in coverage as we go through the day. Winds will begin to pick up, as well, becoming quite gusty later this evening. Those winds will be ushering in our next storm system, which will arrive tomorrow, bringing rain chances back into our forecast. The rain will be most widespread in the overnight hours, adding up to about one half inch or so. The rain tapers off Sunday before another system swings by to our north on Monday. This system may come close enough to throw some flurries our way, perhaps even a snow shower or two. Sunshine returns Tuesday and Wednesday before yet another storm system arrives Thursday.

DISCUSSION

Our breezy winds and low humidity levels today have led the NWS to strongly recommend not doing any outside burning today, just in case you had plans for that.  Things are a bit dry out there, especially since we’re running several inches below normal for January precipitation. It wouldn’t take much for fire to get away from you.

Those fire dangers will end with tomorrow night’s rain. Showers will certainly be possible at any point during the day, but the best rain chances should come during the night. Don’t expect to hear any thunder or anything like that. Just a light, steady rain.  We need the rain, since we average about five inches for January and we’ve only had 0.93″ thus far. The system Monday will bring a chance for some snow  flakes. If it were to swing farther south, we may get some scattered snow showers, but right now it looks like those would stay in Kentucky and Ohio, with us getting some flurries flying around.

We have another system coming next Thursday and models have really been struggling with it. There is the potential for some wintry precip with this system, but right now the models and all the guidance are so confusing I wouldn’t dare try to say how much or even what time it would be here. Just keep in mind that we may be dealing with some wintry precip the end of next week. I’ll keep you posted.

The records for today show that on this day in 1832 the Sparta Recorder and Law Journal reported a low temp of -17 for Sparta and -18 for Nashville. The all time official record low for Nashville is -17, so this would have surpassed that had it been an official low temp. On this date in 1840, widespread -20s were reported across Middle TN.  It can be very cold this time of year, folks!

Sunday is the anniversary of a cold front that moved through here in 1951. The cold front moved through here during the evening of January 28 and would usher in one of the most devastating winter weather events in Tennessee’s history. We’ll talk about that on Sunday and Monday.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any of my Fentress Courier articles! There’s been so much more to talk about. They’ve been printing my stories on a weekly basis now for a couple of months now. The Livingston Enterprise is picking up my stories now, as well. If you live where you get either of these papers look for my stories! They seem to be a hit!

I will share with you the story that was printed this week in both of those papers. It’s about my trip to Kennedy Space Center last week. Incidentally, I’m excited to say that I received an invitation to speak with a Kindergarten class here in Cumberland County about being a meteorologist and my trip to the space center. I’ll be doing that next Friday morning, which is also Groundhog Day! Perfect timing, right? If any of you have suggestions for entertaining Kindergartners I would appreciate the advice!

I hope you enjoy this story and that you have a great weekend!

GOES-S

I recently had an opportunity that only comes along once in a lifetime. I was invited by NASA to view the GOES-S satellite at its holding facility near Cape Canaveral in Florida. I became one of only a handful of people in the world to say they have been in the same room with this satellite.

I was humbled to have had such an opportunity. Only 20 members of the media were selected. I thought for sure my request to attend would be denied.

I am not sure where we would be without satellites. We can watch as tropical systems organize and gather strength, warning coastal residents days in advance of the coming storm. We can see entire storm systems as they spin across the country, unleashing rain and snow as they do so.

We must update our satellites as technology evolves and send up replacements from time to time. Our country is covered by two GOES satellites. One satellite covers those of us in the eastern US, the other covers the west. The newest satellite for the eastern US is already in orbit and the images are just incredible. The satellite I got to see will cover the western US.

These satellites can see cloud and land features with such high resolution that it is unlike anything we have ever seen before.  They can even detect wildfires just as they are starting, which will really help out firefighters in the rural mountains of the western US. This particular satellite is set to launch March 1st, and I certainly plan to return to see that!

This newest round of satellite technology is something that will revolutionize the study of meteorology. Can you imagine where technology will take us next?

 

2 thoughts on “Winds of change

Leave a Reply