A wintry forecast

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Main Threats

Friday morning: a slick spot or two from flurries/light snow showers.

Saturday morning: slick roads from light snow and ice.

Sunday night and Monday: hazardous travel from snowfall.

Summary

The forecast for today is an easy one; partly cloudy and cold. I’m enjoying this “calm before the storm.” (ha) Tonight, the very first piece of a complicated forecast puzzle moves into our neck of the woods. This first piece of the puzzle is a cold front dropping in from the north. It will pass through rather unnoticed but it sure plays a big part in our weekend forecast!

As this front crosses the plateau tonight it will set off some flurries and light snow showers. Accumulation will be minimal, if any. The amount of moisture available would yield a dusting of snow, at most. That front passes on to our south on Friday, allowing more chilly, dry air to come into our area. That dry air heats up easily and that is why we will likely get to 40 degrees tomorrow.

As that front nears the coast, it will begin interacting with a developing area of low pressure off the coast of southeast Texas. Moisture will begin riding up and over that shallow cold front, as southerly winds aloft overrun surface winds that are from the north behind the cold front. It can take a while for the surface airmass to moisten up enough for precip, so it may be Saturday morning before we see any precip reach the ground.

The precip should be on the light side for most of our Saturday. With temps holding  in the low to mid 30s, and warmer air fighting feverishly to move in, our precip will be a mix most of the day. I expect light snow in the morning, mixing with sleet, then some freezing rain, then over to all cold rain. The timing of these transitions depends on where you are on the plateau, with folks farthest south changing over to plain rain first (by noon).

We may never completely change over to 100% plain rain but we should get above freezing. That will prevent us from getting a major winter storm on Saturday and Saturday night.

Then, the precip begins to change back over to snow sometime Sunday. I think this will happen after noon (maybe even closer to evening). If the upper-level low coming our way tracks right over the top of us, as it looks like it will, we could see a few inches of snowfall by Monday. Stay tuned.

Records

This day was a very chilly day for Middle Tennessee in 1937. The high temperature in Nashville was only 17 degrees, after a morning low of 11! That’s cold, folks!

Remember that big snowstorm of 1886 that hit the Southeast in yesterday’s records? Well, that sucker was still raging today! Rome, Georgia recorded 25 inches by the end of this day, Asheville, NC had 33 inches, and many of the mountains of the Smokies had a whopping 42 inches of snow! Forty-two inches of snow, people! (ha) Lordy mercy….

Even Columbia, South Carolina would end up recording two inches of snow and sleet by the time this event was over.

Interestingly, some of the mountains could get a few feet of snow from our system this weekend. Maybe it will rival the 1886 storm?

This day brought quiet the conundrum to our nation’s capital in 1970. It was on this day that the winds became so gusty they knocked down the National Christmas Tree at the White House! After this, I bet they strap that tree down so good that an atomic hurricane couldn’t make it flinch (ha).

You know, it’s one thing to knock over the Christmas tree in your own home… but to see the nation’s Christmas tree go down!

Almanac

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Sunrise: 6:37

Sunset: 4:25

Length of day yesterday: 9 hrs 49 min

Length of day today: 9 hrs 48 min

Length of day tomorrow:  9 hrs 48 min

This Time Last Year

It was a chilly day this time last year, too. After a chilly morning low of 30 degrees, we only climbed to 44 for a high temperature. there as no precipitation and the strongest wind gust was 10 mph. At least there wasn’t any wind that day!

News

I love days when we have the high thin clouds streaming in from time to time. They often signal a change in the weather, as moisture begins streaming in aloft and ahead of the next storm system. This is one reason why we will get the “red sky in the morning (sailor’s warning)”. Those high, thin clouds can make bright red sunrises and sunsets.

We didn’t get the bright reds this morning but it sure was a pretty sunrise. I snapped some pics, of course.

 

I looked up and notice an “X” in the sky. Notice how streaked up the sky is. It was very pretty. IMG_20181206_070846IMG_20181206_070930IMG_20181206_070936

I’ll keep an eye on our weekend forecast and I’ll update you as new info comes in today. I’m watching winter storm watches being issued across the southern Plains right now (counties in blue). Stay tuned.

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