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Rain, rain, rain

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SUMMARY

Southerly breezes kicked up a bit last night and that set the stage for warmer air to begin moving in. Our low temperature for last night occurred at midnight and temps have been gradually rising ever since. Expect rain showers to develop as we go through the day, becoming more widespread during the afternoon and evening. Rain, heavy at times, will continue into tonight. Winds could be a bit breezy, as well, and a rumble of thunder is not out of the question. Rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches will be common across the plateau, with isolated higher amounts not out of the question. Rain gradually tapers off on Wednesday before ending as some snow flurries Wednesday evening/overnight (no accumulation). The high temperature for Wednesday will likely occur before noon, and gradually fall afterward with the passing of a cold front. More rain is expected Friday night and Saturday. Temps will remain mild enough that we won’t have to worry about any significant wintry precipitation for the next week to ten days.

DISCUSSION

Last night was one of those unusual situations were being on the plateau, and at a higher elevation, helped us out with temperatures. The southerly breezes aloft kicked in and warmed us up a bit, while lower elevations in the valley (ie. Knoxville) had calm winds that allowed the cold air to settle to the ground and make them about 10 degrees colder than us.

Thankfully, temps have warmed enough to prevent any worries of wintry weather. Temps are warming so well to our southwest that there is a risk of severe storms. Those will stay south of us and confined to the states of Arkansas and Mississippi. Temps and instability will be more favorable for more robust t-storm activity there. You can tell our spring severe weather season is creeping closer, as each new system brings a bit better chance of storms than the last one.

I don’t think we’ll see enough rain to have to worry about flooding, though some ponding on some roadways is certainly possible, so be careful with that Wednesday morning commute. The ground is still very cold and much of it is still frozen well below the surface, so water will have a harder time filtering through. That could lead to a bit more ponding of water than normal.

The map below shows projected rainfall totals for tonight by the NWS Nashville office.

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Our next system moves in Friday night and this will set the stage for a wet weekend. It looks like we could get at least another inch of rain from this system, but, like the one coming today, there is little to no risk of wintry precipitation.

Continuing the winter storm of 1951

Several of you noticed that I didn’t finish the story about the worst winter storm in TN history. I had promised that you would hear how things got even worse, but I instead got side-tracked by the anniversary of my first tornado.

When I left off Friday, Nashville and most of Middle TN were paralyzed under nearly a foot of snow and ice. It was a disaster. The whole week prior to this had been nothing but a lesson in survival. By Friday, people were beginning to run out of heating fuel and folks were beginning to need to go to the store. Good luck with that, as trees and power lines and abandoned cars littered the roadways, not to mention the foot of snow and ice covering them.

Folks spent the weekend trying to dig out. The bitter, dangerously cold temperatures were finally loosening their grip and the thaw had begun. Crews worked tirelessly all weekend trying to clear roadways and trying to get the snow and ice removed. It was a monumental task! Still, folks woke up Monday morning ready to get to work and to get out of the house. Unfortunately, everyone hit the roadways around Nashville at the same time. At the same– darn– time.

Till this day, February 5, 1951 remains the day of the worst traffic jam in the city of Nashville’s history. Even with today’s significantly increased volume of traffic, this continues to be the worst traffic situation the city of Nashville has ever experienced. Need less to say, most folks spent a miserable day on snow and ice covered roads, bumper to bumper with their neighbors, and many never made it to their destination and ended up just spending the day trying to get back home.

Can you imagine how sick and tired folks were of this winter storm? We’re now one week and one day into this disaster. By today, February 6, the melting would continue in earnest and, by the end of this week, significant amounts of the snow and ice were melting. All snow and ice had completely melted by February 12, a little over two weeks from when this whole mess started.

Thank goodness we’re not dealing with anything like that today! After hearing about all this, our rainy days this week don’t seem so bad, right?

Speaking of today, the launch of the Falcon heavy rocket is scheduled for 12:30 today. This is a very important and historical test for us because a rocket just like this one will take us back to the moon and eventually to Mars. How cool is that?! I’ll be watching it all and I’ll let you know how it goes! This is the most powerful rocket ever fired from earth and it is being fired from the same launch pad that took us to the moon. I actually got to see it setting on the launch pad when I was down there to see the GOES-S satellite. It was a pretty darn cool experience to see the most powerful rocket in the world sitting on a launch pad. Kinda makes ya wanna chant, “USA, USA, ….” 🙂

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Winter weather is close, with winter weather advisories issued for the counties in purple for tonight. Don’t worry, it will all stay well north and west of us.

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You all have a great day and keep those umbrellas and rain jackets handy!

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