Happy Groundhog Day! Say what?!

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SUMMARY

Well, for those of you with a Valentine today perhaps your flowers and cards will brighten an otherwise gloomy, rainy day. For those of us without a Valentine, the weather fits the mood, right? (ha).

Look for showers to continue throughout the day and evening, with isolated rumbles of thunder. It will be a very mild day and those temps will only drop off a few degrees tonight, rising before daybreak as another push of warm air surges northward.  That warm air will be riding on some pretty stiff breezes by Thursday afternoon, with gusts to 30 mph possible (maybe stronger). Those breezes are not only bringing up warmer air, but they’re also bringing in more moisture for our next rain maker that will slap us with some pretty good downpours Friday and Saturday. Rain chances have increased now for Saturday with the latest guidance indicating a disturbance that should keep showers around all day. Then, dare I say, the sun could show itself on Sunday. It’s not a great chance, but it’s a chance. Enjoy it because (guess what?) our next rain maker moves in Sunday night and Monday. Expect very mild temperatures next week, with temps flirting with 70.

DISCUSSION

So, what’s up with me wishing you a happy Groundhog Day? Remember when I wrote that article about my Grandpa Baldwin always telling me the real Groundhog Day was February 14th? Remember, it depended on whether or not you use today’s calendar or the calendar that preceded today’s calendar. Well, if today is that day then the groundhog definitely did not see his shadow and spring will arrive six weeks early! So, is the Yankee groundhog from Pennsylvania right, or the southern groundhog of the great state of Tennessee? I guess we shall see!

I’ll tell you one thing, it’s going to feel like spring around over the next week! Tomorrow is going to be downright warm. I’m almost certain we’ll hit 70 degrees and folks all around us, at lower elevations, will hit low to mid 70s. Next week looks like it may be even warmer. But, like I said yesterday, winter will return for at least another visit or two. At least we’re to the point now that even if we do get a cold spell or, God forbid (sigh…) we get a big snow, it wouldn’t last long. The sun’s angle is getting higher everyday and days are getting noticeable longer. It doesn’t take warm air long to return this time of year.

There are early indications that we may be dealing with strong to severe thunderstorms next week. It’s too early to nail down specifics, but we’re going to be either at or slightly above 70 degrees and more systems will be moving through. It doesn’t take a genius (or even a meteorologist! HA) to know that kind of weather can spell trouble in February. I’ll keep an eye on it.

Speaking of severe weather, of the 25 total tornadoes ever recorded in Cumberland County, three occurred in February. One was the most recent Leap Day tornado (2-29-12) that hit the north end of the county in Rinnie.  That remains our second deadliest twister on record, having claimed two lives. Before that tornado was the February 21st tornado of 1993 that paralleled the interstate through Crab Orchard. That tornado was part of an outbreak of Tennessee tornadoes that came just weeks before the blizzard of ’93 hit. The other was a tornado in 1899 that would have traveled very near, if not right through, the current location of Walmart. The only significant damage it did was blow the roof off Munroe Hyder’s barn, with the stock inside uninjured (according to the storm report filed). Numerous trees were destroyed, however, as well as a vast amount of fencing.  That would be a much different story today!

We don’t have any severe weather or wintry weather to worry about anytime soon. Mild and wet weather will rule the forecast for the next week or so. I’m still betting we’ll see a decent shot of cold air in here the beginning of March, though,  so I’ll be keeping a close eye on that.  If you recall, we had not received any snowfall at this point in the winter of 1993, the year of the March blizzard. It had been a very mild winter and it was basically too warm to snow until the second half of February. The cold front that brought the tornadoes on the 21st really started a pattern change. I’ll have so much more on this as we approach the 25th anniversary of the blizzard of ’93.

You all have a great day and try to stay dry on this Groundhog day/Valentine’s Day!  🙂

 

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