Record-breaking warmth for this President’s Day?

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SUMMARY

A warm front lifted north of us this morning, and now we are in a very warm air mass. We could still see a very stray shower or sprinkle this morning, but the showers/sprinkles of last night have pretty much moved on. Expect it to be a breezy Monday and Tuesday, with south winds gusting up to 35 mph at times. The record high for today in Crossville is 66, set in 1986. The NWS is forecasting a high of 65, but I think we’ll get to 70. It’s already 58 here at weatherTAP at 8:30 a.m. Our record for Tuesday is 72 and I think we’ll break that one, as well. That record was also set in 1986. I can see us easily hitting 75 tomorrow, with folks just off the plateau hitting 80+ degrees. Hard to believe it’s February, right?

The rain comes back in earnest on Wednesday, as well as some thunderstorms. That rain continues on Thursday. I wouldn’t be surprised  to see us get at least a couple inches of rain from Wednesday to Thursday, with rain tapering off to showers for Friday, before the next big rainmaker moves in for Saturday.

DISCUSSION

We may not only break record highs today and tomorrow, but we may also break record lows. Normally when I say that I mean we’re going to be cold, but this time I mean we may break the record low for having the warmest overnight low temps.  The warmest overnight low we’ve ever set for tonight was 55, set in 2014. I think we’ll be warmer than that tonight by about 4 or 5 degrees. The record warm low temp for Tuesday night is 54, set in 2016, and I think we’ll bust that one for sure.

Below is the GFS model’s forecast highs for Tuesday. We’re calling it the blowtorch for the eastern US. Look how far north those warm temps go! The folks out in Montana and the Dakotas are saying, “What warm air?!” They’re ready to send some of that this way when we get to March……….

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All this warm air is surely setting us up for some active February weather, right? Well, sort of. So far it looks like we’re very, very lucky and that all we’ll really have to deal with is heavy rain. If anyone had told me back in January that we’d be in the 70s the second half of February I would have been gearing up for tornadoes. But, a warm, moist air mass isn’t all you need for severe weather.  Several other things have to come together as well, especially way up above our heads, higher in the atmosphere. What is going to come together are conditions for rain, some of which will be heavy. Thankfully for us, the heaviest of the rainfall this week will stay west of us.  This is the projected rainfall totals over the next seven days. Folks to our west are not looking forward to this rainfall and the flooding that will come with it.

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Notice how that precip arches from Texas to Ohio. That is due to a big, stubborn high pressure cell situated off the coast of the Southeast US. Everything is riding around the edge of that high. Those highs rotate clockwise and everything rides right around the edge of that flow. In the summer, when this patter is much more common, we call these “Bermuda highs”, due to their proximity to the island of Bermuda.

The all-time record February rainfall for Nashville is 10.9 inches set in 1890, and they expect to break that record this February.  They are currently at 7.59 inches and there are 10 days left in the month.  We’ve recorded 7.05 inches this month here at weatherTAP.

I started to highlight some times for caution on Wednesday night (for flooding) but I held off. I’ll wait and see what the next rounds of guidance suggest for total rainfall.  Thankfully, we have today and tomorrow’s warm and breezy conditions to dry us out a bit before more rainfall moves in.

Lord, if all this rain had been snow……..

Speaking of which, on this day in 1960 Sparta set their all-time daily record for snow when they picked up 10 inches of the white stuff. The 1960s were a very snowy decade for TN and numerous records were set. My parents remember when school bus drivers use to put chains on the tires when the roads got slick. I’d say things have changed a little bit since then! ha

Don’t forget the online storm spotter classes being offered. You can take them from the comfort of your home! We need all the ground spotters we can get, so consider becoming a spotter! Radar can only tell us part of the story. We still need folks on the ground to tell us what they see, and we need them to be trained to know exactly what they’re seeing.

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There are indications of severe weather for West Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi for Saturday but it looks like that will stay to the west of us and weaken as it approaches us. I’ll keep an eye on it, but right now it just looks like more rain for the weekend.

You all have a great President’s Day and enjoy this warm weather! And be thankful I’m not warning you of tornadoes! Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with the rain this week.

 

 

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