A very unsettled weather week

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MAIN THREATS

Today: Strong storms this afternoon/evening

SUMMARY

This forecast period is a very unsettled period of time. A slow-moving cold front will move our way, finally reaching our area on Friday. By that time, it will have nearly washed itself out (as is common for late July/August), but that will still mean scattered showers and storms. The rainiest day of the week may come tomorrow, with chances of showers and storms being with us all day.

As the cold front slowly creeps our way, a series of disturbances will swing through. Exact timing of these disturbances is nearly impossible, so just plan on scattered showers and storms each day, with the greatest coverage most likely in the afternoons and evenings.

I will add that the Storm Prediction Center continues to highlight most of Middle TN in the lowest risk for severe weather this afternoon and evening (marginal risk), but the emphasis is on storms around the Nashville area and West TN, where the greater instability will likely be. Never the less, any storm that we get this time of year (as you know) can put down heavy rainfall, frequent lightning, and gusty winds.

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We should all pick up some rain this week, with most of us picking up around an inch of rain. As always, some will get more and some will get less, depending on how many storms you end up under.

DISCUSSION

One of the perks to having so many clouds and showers around this time of year is that it keeps temperatures down. Normally, this is our hottest time of the year, but with so much unsettled weather we’ll struggle to even have average temps this week. That will bode well for yardsailers, though they may be dodging showers/storms from time to time.

The good news is that there are no indications of widespread severe weather in the forecast.

TROPICS

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RECORDS

On this day in 1999, downtown Nashville hit 101 degrees. This is one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the downtown area.

Farther north, the record high temperature for the month of July was recorded on this day in 1949 in Connecticut. On that day, Greenville recorded an afternoon high of 102 degrees. In Connecticut!

Also on this date in 1965, Portland, Oregon recorded their all-time record high when they hit 107 degrees! In Portland!

In 1987, numerous locations across the Dakotas recorded record highs for the date, when temperatures topped out in the 100-105 degree range across the area.

Did I mention it CAN be very hot this time of year?

Switching gears….on this day in 1979, a 40-minute long hailstorm struck Fort Collins, Colorado. Folks, this wasn’t any normal hailstorm, by any means. Not only did it last over half an hour, but it contained baseball to softball sized hail! Twenty-five people had to be treated for head injuries from hailstone strikes to the head (is anyone else’s head hurting right now? ha). The hail damaged 2,000 homes and 2,500 automobiles. How many guesses as to what those cars looked like?

One thing that is very odd about this Colorado hailstorm is that it actually claimed a life. This is very rare, though I’m always surprised by that. I think the reason for such low injury/fatality numbers from hail is that the largest hailstones tend to fall in the most sparsely populated areas of our country. The Plains states are most frequented by these events, with Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska getting them most frequently. They are both sparsely populated and accustomed to these events, which probably helps them know how to deal with these storms. I can’t imagine a baseball-sized hail-producing storm in New York City! Thankfully, such occurrences in the very populated Northeast are extremely rare.

Keep in mind that hail can continue to grow as long as the updraft is strong enough to support it. As soon as those stones become too heavy to carry upward, they fall out of the storm and head straight for the ground.  The more unstable the atmosphere is, the more powerful updrafts can become, which leads to larger hailstones.

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You all have a great day!

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