Before we talk about storms, check out that weather out there today! It is absolutely beautiful outside. We can’t rule out a stray shower this afternoon and evening, but I’m not sure that will even happen. That shower chance is at about 20%. We’re currently 64 degrees and I think we could top out at 75 if we can keep this sunshine going strong. Tomorrow, rain and storms begin to threaten. If you have outdoor plans, try and get them done by noon. Stronger storms may move in later in the night and even Sunday morning. The greatest threat of severe weather will be to our west and the tornado stuff will stay well to our west, over West TN. Still, we can’t completely let our guard down, as we are incredibly warm and humid and it won’t take much to get a storm a bit rowdy. Rainfall amounts should generally stay between 1-2 inches. After the front clears us, we’ll see a drop in temps that will take us closer to seasonal normals, though we’ll still be above normal. We will remain in an unsettled pattern, so showers may still be possible on Monday. We get a break Tuesday before our next big rain maker moves in here the middle and end of next week.
Below is the threat map put out by the NWS for Saturday. The storms move east overnight and should weaken as they do so. Never the less, we should still keep an eye out for strong storms.
The main focus for this forecast period is centered around the storm chances Saturday night. Folks, it looks like we are really going to dodge a bullet with this one. It’s unusual to be in February and be running 20+ degrees above normal for high temps and not get a severe weather outbreak. That will happen to our west across West TN and Mississippi. If I were still at MSU I’d be gearing up to head toward the Mississippi River tomorrow to chase. The flood plain (the Delta) is so flat and you can see forever. They not only have a decent chance for tornadoes but also the possibility for some strong tornadoes. That could have easily been us, folks.
Temps will drop behind the front, but we’re still not looking at any sub-freezing temps for overnight lows. We may see some frost Tuesday morning, but I don’t think we’ll freeze. The rest of February is still looking pretty good, as far as mild temperatures go. With mild temps like this we’re going to have to be mindful of severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center is already highlighting an area of concern from West Tn down to Louisiana for next Wednesday. That will move closer to us on Thursday.
Which reminds me! The last time I went to Florida to see the satellite you all got snow and I missed it. It was one of the only little skimpy snows we got and I missed it. Now, watch you all get some really good storms next Thursday while I’m down there for the launch! If you all do, I’m never leaving this plateau again! haha
And yes, I’m “over the moon” excited about seeing this launch!! See what I did there…”over the moon” (ha). The launch is a week from yesterday. I’ll be watching it from the closest vantage point you can watch it from, the Kennedy Space Center. I’ve been told we’ll be able to feel the ground shake when it takes off. How freakin cool is that!? Do I have the best job or what? 🙂
Back to the weather…. With all this talk of storms it is the perfect timing for Tennessee’s severe weather awareness week. Both the Fentress Courier and Livingston Enterprise printed an article I wrote about it. They each published the story this week. I will be posting interesting tid-bits here throughout the week, in addition to the information provided by the NWS on each day’s topic. Every day features a new topic concerning severe weather. Let’s all make it safe and soundly through another severe weather season.
I am also very happy to report that I just got sent a pic of TDOT working on highway 127N just north of the Plateau Rd/Potato Farm Rd intersection. The culvert collapsed under the road there some time ago and it was the most dangerous spot you’ve ever seen when it rains. After bugging TDOT to the point that they asked me to stop, they finally agreed to fix it! (ha) For those of you who travel that way to go home, there may be some hold ups, as they have to drop it to one lane to repair the culvert. But, when they’re finished we don’t have to worry about getting killed driving through flood water! They have a nice day to work on it!
You all have a great day and I hope you enjoy my article about severe weather awareness week!
Severe Weather Awareness Week (Feb. 25-Mar3)
By the end of February, our thoughts start turning to spring. We have had a lot of cold and cloudy days this winter, and we are now ready to exchange those days for warm and sunny ones!
As we know, this is the time of year when the cold air from the north begins getting pushed away by the warm air coming up from the south. As this battle moves northward, with the changing of the seasons, different regions of the country find themselves in the airmass “battle zone”, so to speak.
In a typical year, the Cumberland Plateau finds itself in the battle-of-the-seasons from March to May. Keep in mind, however, that severe weather can happen any time of the year.
In preparation for the peak of our spring severe weather season, the National Weather Service will be having severe weather awareness week from February 25-March 3. Each day will focus on a different aspect of severe weather.
Feb. 25 — The important role of SKYWARN spotters
Feb. 26 — Flooding and flash floods
Feb. 27 — Lightning, the underrated killer
Feb. 28 — Tornado safety and preparedness (a statewide tornado drill and NOAA weather radio test will be conducted at 9:30 CST, weather permitting)
March 1 — Severe thunderstorms
March 2 — NOAA weather radio and the emergency alert system
March 3 — Importance of social media
The National Weather Service has information on each of those topics at http://www.weather.gov/ohx/swaw2018. I will also be sharing info on each topic, as well as some additional info relative to the plateau, each of those days on my blog at https://meteorologistmark.com/!
Hopefully, this severe weather season will be easy on us. Remember that it’s always better to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best!