It’s like a spring morning

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SUMMARY

Expect scattered showers all day today, and possibly even a rumble of thunder.  It will be breezy and warm, with highs running well above average for the next several days. Our overnight lows are 10 degrees higher than our high temps should be! The rain will become a bit more widespread tonight and Thursday, before tapering back off to showers on Friday. Friday’s weather should be very similar to today’s. More rain and storms come through on Saturday, with heavy downpours and strong storms possible. Temps cool off for Sunday, but still staying a degree or two above average, rather than 20 degrees above average like today.

DISCUSSION

We may end up having a halfway decent day today. It won’t be nearly as nice as yesterday, but we may just have some scattered showers to dodge all day, but with temps as warm as they were yesterday. It’s like a spring morning out there! The heaviest rain is off to our west, around Nashville. Normally, we would expect that to blow right on through here, but this front is absolutely crawling. I can literally walk faster than this front is moving! Literally. It’s only moving at 5 mph. Flood watches remain in effect from Nashville west.

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That front finally gets close enough Wednesday night and Thursday to bring us more widespread rainfall and some thunderstorms. Then, we get another break on Friday. We may get a very warm day out of Friday. Yet another system moves in on us just in time for the weekend. This time, we will have heavier rain and stronger storms. I think the greatest risk of severe weather will stay out toward West Tennessee, and the Storm Prediction Center is already highlighting that area, and locations southwest of there, for a possible severe weather threat for Saturday. Those storms should weaken as they move toward us on Saturday night. I’ll keep an eye on that for ya.

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Speaking of storms, today is the anniversary of the February 21, 1993 tornado outbreak that hit Tennessee. One of the tornadoes touched down in Crab Orchard and paralleled the interstate through there. Thankfully, no  one was hurt. Stronger tornadoes hit Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, and Sweetwater. One of the stronger tornadoes passed very close to the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, causing quite a scare. The tornado was an F-3 and the plant is only built to withstand up to F-3. In all, there were 24 tornadoes across the South on this day. There were 75 injuries across East Tn, and one fatality, associated with three F-3s. This tornado outbreak came at the end of what had been a very mild winter for Tennessee. In fact, as of February 21 that year we hadn’t recorded any snowfall in Crossville. The front that produced this tornado outbreak would be the beginning of a pattern change that would lead to a historic blizzard the middle of March.

On a much brighter note……

I found out this morning that TDOT has heard my aggravating pleas and will be finally repairing the collapsed culvert just north of the Plateau Rd./Potato Farm intersection! And yes, I threw around my “meteorologist” title. I know, I know. But, I had too! It made my argument for that being a flood death trap much more relevant. Someone was going to get hurt or killed through there, for sure. This has become a very dangerous issue every time it rains (even a little) and it will be quite a relief to see that fixed.

I also found out this morning that NASA has approved my press pass for the launch of GOES-S next week!!!! They have been making me sweat, folks, but no worries! I now get to watch the launch from Kennedy Space Center with all the other press folks!!! I about shouted when I got that email. This is the satellite that I went down there to see a few weeks ago, after I became one of only 20 people to be approved to do so. Now, I get to watch it launched into space! This satellite is going to bring better wildfire detection to the western US, as well as improved flood forecasts, and the best coverage of Alaska we’ve ever seen.  This satellite, along with it’s replica that is covering the eastern US now, will lead to so many wonderful things for atmospheric science. What an exciting time to be in meteorology!

You all have a great day and try to stay dry!

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