One more nice day and a look at what the woolly worm says

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Main threats

No major threats in sight.

Summary

We’ll see one more nice day before the bottom begins to drop out. We’ll see some clouds from time to time today but sunshine will be the rule of the day. Tonight, clouds thicken ahead of our next storm system and rain will settle in by Thursday night. I can’t rule out a shower anytime on Thursday, but the later in the day we go the more widespread the rainfall will become. Rainfall amounts of around one inch can be expected across the plateau from this system.

Friday will be a raw, chilly day. High temperatures will struggle to reach the 50-degree mark, if they even do. This will be one of the chilliest rains we’ve seen in some time.

Rain showers will continue on Friday but most of that rain should fall before noon, with rain becoming more scattered by evening. We may even see a break from the rain altogether by sunset and into the overnight hours. However, our next system will begin offering at least a chance of showers by Saturday, with that rainfall becoming much more widespread by Sunday afternoon/evening/overnight.

Our next storm system shows up nicely on radar this morning, with all that rain moving our direction. Also, notice the snow across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Winter storm warnings are in effect there for their first snowfall of the season. Widespread 1-3″ snow amounts are expected there, with higher elevations getting over half a foot.

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Tropics

Our rainfall Thursday night will be partly due to the remnants of Hurricane Willa that made landfall earlier this week on the west coast of Mexico. Those remnants are combining with a weak cold front that passed through us last night (rather unnoticed). The bulk of the rain will travel along the Gulf Coast, with us getting in on the action on the northern fringes of the system.

In other tropical news, we now have a system to watch in the Atlantic. It looks like it will likely become Oscar sometime over the coming weekend. We’ll have to watch this one, as it looks like it may move westward for some time. The good thing about tropical systems this time of year, however, is that our cold fronts often become frequent enough to keep them swept out to sea. I’ll be watching it, though!

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Records

On this day in 1981 Crossville tied a record low when we bottomed out at 25 degrees for a morning low. That makes our low this morning of 36 sound a bit nicer, right? If you think we were cold you should think about Clarksville’s morning low that day. They bottomed out at 20 degrees! Even Nashville dropped to 28 degrees. That was a very cold snap of cold air!

Almanac (new section)

Yesterday’s high was 67.2 at 3:50 p.m., which followed a morning low of 38.5 at 4:40 a.m.

This morning’s low was 36.4 at 6:55 a.m.

Yesterday’s highest wind speed was 11 mph from the west at 3:10 p.m.

No precipitation fell (month=1.37, with normal being about 3.25″ for October)

(I’m working on making this section a chart format, which I will reveal tomorrow)

News

So, you know I’m always testing weather folklore and exploring tactics that others use to determine what winter will bring. And you have probably figured out that I’m a skeptic at weather folklore. But, I’m always looking for something to go by, I just haven’t found it yet.

I wrote an article on the woolly worm (aka woolly bear) and it was published in the Livingston Enterprise last week. I’ll include it below for your reading pleasure (I hope! ha). Remember, if you know of any lore you’d like me to test just let me know!

The Woolly Worm

The woolly worm may be the most well-known creature of weather folklore in all of the Upper Cumberlands. The folklore dates back to Colonial times.

First of all, the 13 bands that make up the worm’s coloration are believed to represent the 13 weeks of winter. The orange coloring means mild winter weather, while the black coloring represents severe winter. The wider the bands, the longer the duration of weather represented by the color of the band.

So, what does science say about all this? The coloring is based on how long the worm has been feeding, its age, and species. There are 260 species of woolly worm! The better the growing season is the bigger the worm’s color bands will grow. That means the worm’s size and band widths are determined by the current and previous growing seasons, not the upcoming winter.  

The coloring itself is based on the worm’s age, with younger worms having more black and older worms having more red coloring.

The fuzz of the worm actually helps the worm to freeze controllably in the winter. Once they begin to hibernate, they release an antifreeze-like substance that allows them to freeze very slowly. They can survive in temperatures as low as 90 degrees below zero! In the spring, the woolly worm evolves into a beautiful Isabella Tiger Moth.

There is so much hype around the woolly worm that there are actually woolly worm festivals that take place across the country. There are even woolly worm races at these festivals. After hours of racing, both the winning worm and its trainer get crowned.

So, keep your eyes peeled for those woolly worms. Not for the winter forecast, mind you. I would just hate to see you step on one of them.

You all have a great day!

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