A beautiful Halloween Eve

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Main Threats

Wednesday night/Thursday: Strong storms and heavy rainfall

Summary

We’ll see an absolutely beautiful day today, with sunny skies and light south breezes. Couple that with highs in the mid to upper 60s and you have a great weather day.

Tomorrow will be good day, but we will be watching our next storm system gather strength out on the Plains. That system will push in here after midnight Wednesday and be with us on Thursday. That system will bring a good chance for thunderstorms, as well as some heavy downpours (if needed, more details are in the Discussion below). Thursday will be a very windy day, too, so keep that in mind.

By Friday, the bulk of the rain will have moved out, but a quick-moving clipper system from Canada will be swinging through. That could kick off some showers across the plateau.

For now, Saturday just looks mostly cloudy.

Discussion

The system moving in Wednesday night is liable to pack a punch for folks to our west and south. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted those areas in the risk for severe storms. At this point, it looks like the plateau will be just a bit too far east for flooding concerns and just a bit too far north and east for significant severe weather. With that being said, I’m keeping an eye on things. The shear necessary for rotating t-storms will be present but instability is lacking. If that instability increases, we could be looking at stronger storms.

Storms need strong updrafts in order to fully tap into the wind shear and become severe.  We’ll have plenty of wind shear (change in wind speed and direction with height) but the amount of instability is lacking. Instability allows those cloud heights to grow and the updrafts to become stronger. Instability is (at least in part) a measure of how rapidly temperatures decrease with height. Warm air rises and the faster temperatures get colder with altitude the faster that warm air will rise. If there’s wind shear, that rapidly rising air will be prone to rotate. That’s your meteorology lesson for today! ha

Remember, November is part of our secondary fall severe weather season.

Tropics

Hurricane Oscar is still spinning out in the Atlantic. The storm is now a cat 2 hurricane, with winds of 105 mph. The storm will be no threat to land, as it spins northward into the open waters of the Atlantic.

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Records

I’ve been talking a lot here lately about this cold snap that hit the last week of October in 1925. Well, today that cold snap led to the earliest recorded snowfall on record for Nashville, when one inch of snowfall was officially measured in the city.

Interestingly, Nashville’s record low set in 1925 (26 degrees) was tied on this day in 1952. At least it’s easy to remember the date of that. Just remember either 25 or 52 and flip ’em around. ha

On this day in 1947 the smog disaster in Donora, Pennsylvania finally came to an end. An unfortunate weather pattern and poor manufacturing practices (pollution) led to a poisonous cloud of smog being trapped in the Monongahela Valley for five days. Twenty people died during the event and more than 2,000 people were made sick (some very seriously). Sadly, even ten years later mortality rates in Donora were significantly higher than neighboring communities.

At least half the population of Donora was made sick by the smog. At least 50 deaths were directly attributed to the smog disaster in the month following. Among the deaths was  Lukasz Musial, the father of future baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. The local zinc plant was likely the guiltiest party in this disaster, though the local steel plants are certainly not blameless. One can’t help but note that no vegetation grew within a half-mile radius of the zinc plant.

Two local firefighters were credited with saving countless lives during this event. Volk and Davis let folks in respiratory distress use their oxygen tanks that they normally use for firefighting. When they ran out of oxygen in those tanks, they braved the smog and got to surrounding communities and borrowed their oxygen tanks. When asked if they used any of the oxygen themselves they responded, “No, but we did take a shot of whiskey every time we returned to the fire house for anything.”

Almanac 

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This morning’s low here at WeatherTAP was 37.4 at 1:18 am

You all have a great day!

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