Flood watch in effect for Saturday and Sunday

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SUMMARY

Look for partly cloudy skies to become mostly cloudy as we go through the day. Enjoy this nice weather day, because there’s not another one in sight for quite a while! Rain will develop in earnest as we go through the night, becoming heavy at times into your Saturday. Rain will continue through the day and night Saturday, with rainfall totals of 2-4 inches across the plateau. A flood watch is in effect for Saturday and Sunday.  Rain continues on Sunday, but with less intensity than Saturday’s rainfall. Off-and-on rain showers will persist into next week, but with continued mild temperatures. Remember, if you come to a flooded roadway just turn around, don’t drown. Flooding is the number one severe weather killer, and most of those deaths occur in vehicles. 

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DISCUSSION

Be careful if you have to be out and about on Saturday. It only takes about six inches of water to start causing real problems with control of a car. In 12 inches of water you can float away. That’s not a lot of water. If that water is swiftly moving, you could end up in some big trouble. Flooding is the number one severe weather killer in the world. In the US, most of those deaths are in vehicles. Interestingly, the largest proportion of those drivers are male.

We’ll continue the unsettled weather into next week. I guess the silver lining is that temps will remain warm enough for rain. With this prolonged warm weather, along with all the rain, and the arrival of the Robins (have you seen them?), one might think spring was soon upon us. However, that danged ole groundhog said he thinks it’ll stay winter for six more weeks. Psh.

Speaking of rodents that know nothing about the weather (don’t get me started again, right? ha), I wrote an article for the papers last week about this whole Groundhog Day thing. I’ll share it with you here. I hope you find it interesting! Have a great weekend and stay home and stay dry!

(Keep me in mind this morning as I go to speak to Mrs. Donathan’s Kindergarten class at Martin Elementary this morning at 9:00 a.m.! I’ll let you know how it all goes!)

Groundhog Day

We have the most sophisticated satellites money can buy, high powered supercomputers, and computer models that can handle more weather data than we can even comprehend.

Still, when Groundhog Day rolls around we can’t wait to find out if the groundhog sees his shadow, ultimately forecasting the early or late arrival of spring.

I guess no matter how sophisticated we get with our technologies, there will always be a longing for the simpler times. That’s certainly understandable, though I question the ability of a rodent to forecast weather.

I have also questioned when the “real” Groundhog Day is? My grandfather once told me that Groundhog Day was February 14th. He said that Groundhog Day was changed to February 2nd by the Northerners. After a bit of research, I found out that folks over in the Ozarks of Arkansas also celebrate Groundhog Day on February 14th. These folks trace part of their ancestry to the southern Appalachians of Tennessee.

So, I did some more research. Groundhog Day has its roots in the Christian holiday Candlemas, which is a feast day that comes 40 days after Christmas. This was the first day the infant Jesus was presented in the Temple. It also marks the midpoint of winter. However, in Orthodox communities that still use the Julian calendar (the calendar that came before today’s calendars), Candlemas would fall on February 14th. If you use today’s Gregorian calendar, Groundhog Day will be February 2nd. So, the date that comes 40 days after Christmas depends on which calendar you use, which ultimately determines when you would recognize Groundhog Day.

Statistically, the groundhog correctly predicts the arrival of spring about a third of the time. That sounds fine to me. As a meteorologist, it’d be awful embarrassing to be outsmarted by a darn groundhog.

 

 

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