Spring-like weather for the weekend, followed by a return to winter

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Main Threats

Today: Perhaps a strong storm (greatest threat well to our south and west)

Summary

Statistically, the weather you get the first day of the month will be the weather you most often see the whole month. I guess that could be good or bad (ha).

Today, we’ll see plenty of rain and wind. Don’t be surprised if you hear thunder. I think the strong storm threat will really fizzle out as the system approaches the plateau. But, with all this rain today is no day for outdoor plans! Be mindful of the gusty southerly winds today. They could get a bit gusty at times.

Below is the severe wx outlook for today. We are only in the general t-storm threat, with the greatest threat of an isolated severe storm back over West Tennessee. The only threat we really have is if a t-storm can get going and translate some strong, straight-line winds down to the surface. We have a lot of wind energy above us today.

outlook

This system moves out tonight and we should be clearing out by mid Sunday morning. Expect a super nice day for our Sunday. Get outside!

On Monday, the pattern begins to change back to the winter-like weather we’re more accustomed to in December. Some weak disturbances swinging through may produce some sprinkles or flurries Monday night, as well as for our Tuesday. No accumulation is expected at this time.

Discussion

Many of you may have heard of the storms from last night across Oklahoma and Arkansas. The set-up for that activity is really falling apart this morning. Therefore, we do not expect that kind of severe weather in Tennessee today.

Records

On this day in 1985, a blizzard created 12-foot drifts across north and central Nebraska. One family was stranded for 25 hours in their car before being rescued. Twelve foot drifts?! Twenty-five hours in a car?! I’m not sure what’s more unbelievable (ha).

On this side of the Rockies (the east side) there are downslope winds that develop and they can do some pretty crazy things. Winds often blow from west to east in North America and that means the winds rise up the mountains on the Pacific side, but then come down the mountains on this side. As winds blow up the mountain, the air within the wind cools and forms clouds and precip. As the winds come down the other side they warm up and dry out. This sinking, warming air can cause some erratic temperature swings on this side of the Rockies.

On this day in 1896 such a downslope wind developed in Montana. The town of Kipp saw the temperature rise 30 degrees in seven minutes! In a matter of hours, the temperature had risen a whopping 80 degrees! The thirty inches of snow they had suddenly melted. Can you imagine stopping at the store and you’re all bundled up as you go in because it’s so cold. Then ten minutes later you come out and it’s so warm. What a wild day. What’s crazy is that this is not an incredibly uncommon occurrence out there. The temperature swings aren’t usually to the extent of 30-80 degree swings but they can still be quite dramatic…. Literally hang around a few minutes and the weather will change, right?

These warming, downslope winds are called Chinook winds, which means snow eater, and for good reason! Sudden rises in temperature can bring relief from winter’s chill but the suddenness can be amazing.  Also, the dry winds carry a bit of an electrical charge. As the winds interact with barbed wire fences they can become electrified, like an electric fence that you may be too familiar with around here (ha). How wild is that?! Crazy western weather, I tell ya what.

Almanac

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Sunrise: 6:34

Sunset: 4:27

Day Length Today: 9 hr 53 min

Day Length yesterday: 9 hr 54 min

Day Length tomorrow: 9 hr 52 min

This time last year

December started on a mild note for us this time last year, as well. The big difference is that this day last year was dry. Yeah, that’s a big difference! The high was 58 degrees, after the day started out at 39 degrees. The strongest wind gust was 12 mph.

News

I wish everyone so much luck in the St. Jude marathon in Memphis this morning. I sure hope everyone prepared to run in the rain. Running in the rain can be the funnest race you ever do….but if you’re not prepared, it will be the most miserable race you have ever run. The best part is that all those incredible folks are raising a TON of money for an incredible place, St. Jude’s Hospital. Let’s all wish them well as they do their run this morning!

Finally, let’s all remember the Bush family today. I always had so much respect for President Bush. His character was impeccable. He was a good, decent man and his presidential legacy will be a good one. Rest easy, Mr. President.

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