Spring has arrived! ….for now..
Enjoy these next couple of day, folks. We’ve earned this spring-like weather. Be aware that it will be breezy, so if any of you plan on doing outside work, it is strongly advised that you not burn brush. Burn bans are being issued for areas around us.
A strong cold front will move toward the plateau on Saturday. Yesterday it looked like the rain might hold off until evening, and I still think the bulk of the rain and storms will come after 5:00 p.m., but we could see some showers as early as the afternoon. I’ll keep fine tuning the timing. Some of those storms Saturday night could be on the strong side, though the greatest risk of severe weather should stay to our west and south. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the plateau in the slight risk for severe storms for Saturday night, so it’s something I’ll have to keep an eye on . I will say that the tornado threat looks really low and I would expect just about the same exact thing we had the last time we had storms come through here.
After the front gets through us, temps will drop and winter will return. A disturbance passing nearby late Sunday night and Monday morning could bring us some wintry precip. Accumulation looks very light, if any, so we shouldn’t have any problems. Temps soar right back into the 60s for Tuesday. So, we get spring…winter…spring…repeat for the next few weeks.
Below is the severe weather outlook for Saturday night. Notice the greatest threat stays well to our south.
Looking at the latest data, the greatest risk from severe storms for us here on the plateau would be from straight-line winds. Of course, we can never rule out an isolated tornado, but the overall tornado threat looks really low. Even in the enhanced outlook area to our south, the tornado threat is only at a “low” level. As always, I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know if anything changes.
This is certainly a strong cold front. It’s strong enough to bring in one more shot at some snow flurries or snow showers Monday morning. Some areas of Kentucky may even pick up some light accumulation. But, if you like spring, just hold on a minute because spring will be right back in here for Tuesday.
I should note that it will be quite breezy today and tomorrow. Vegetation dries out quickly this time of year and you have to be aware of burn bans that are put in place. I don’t know of any of those for the plateau (yet) but there are bans in effect for our neighbors in Kentucky. Just be very careful if you get out burning brush.
Speaking of breezy, today is the anniversary of the fastest recorded wind on earth. It was recorded high atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The observatory there recorded a wind gust of 231 mph when the jet stream dropped unusually low, and the summit of the mountain found itself in those crazy winds. On May 3, 1999 storm chasers using Doppler radar recorded a wind speed of over 300 mph in an F-5 tornado moving through Bridge Creek, Oklahoma. But, that was measured with radar about 100 feet or so off the ground, which doesn’t count for a surface wind speed (tornado winds increase very dramatically with height).
Speaking of tornado winds, today is also the anniversary of the 1927 F-5 tornado that hit the town of Rock Springs, Texas, located about 200 miles west of Austin, TX. The tornado killed 1/3 of the town’s population (73 people) and destroyed 235 of the town’s 247 buildings. In most cases, no lumber or trace of any contents were ever found. Keep in mind, F-5 tornadoes not only destroy everything in their path, but they also carry away the debris. There is literally nothing left. Sometimes they even take the asphalt off the road. The town did rebuild, though nearly every single home has an underground storm shelter to this day. Amazingly, there’s a field east of Rock Springs where you can still find twisted metal laying around from the storm that hit them 91 years ago today. How weird is that? One resident said she’d never be afraid of storms again, because she had experienced the worst storm possible, and all others would forever pale in comparison.
Thankfully, we can enjoy some calm weather around here today! Enjoy all this sunshine and warmth and have great day!