Finally, a little bit of snow

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Main Threats

This morning: Some slick spots from last night’s snow

Thursday night: Heavy rains

Summary

We finally got some snow! Naturally, I have LOTS of pics at the bottom of the blog 🙂 I also have a bit of a discussion about this weekend’s storm in the Discussion, if you’re interested.

We’ll see mainly partly cloudy skies today. Temps will remain cool but we will get above freezing. All of our snow will be a distant memory by noon. Get out and enjoy it while you can! (ha)

I recommend enjoying it because I don’t see more snow in our future anytime soon.

Tomorrow, we should see mostly sunny skies. A few more clouds move in for Wednesday and that will be the beginnings of our next big storm system.

Some showers could move in as early as Wednesday evening, per the latest model data. Those showers will be a threat all day Thursday, before the system moves right into our neck of the woods Thursday night. Look for rain, heavy at times, Thursday night and Friday morning. We could see another round of 1-2 inches of rain (at least).

This system has a very limited amount of cold air with it, so we’ll be looking at all liquid precip this time around.

Looking ahead (so take with a grain of salt), Saturday looks cloudy and cool, with highs in the 40s. A chance of rain showers is highest in the morning, tapering off as we go through the day. At this time, Sunday looks partly cloudy and 50 degrees.

By the way, if you’re wanting warmer weather you may be in luck. The extended outlooks show above normal temps for the second half of December. This does not bode well for a white Christmas….

The temperature outlook below takes us to December 23rd.

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Discussion

I always like to look back and see exactly what went right and what went wrong with winter weather forecasts, especially ones that were as challenging as this past weekend’s.

Saturday’s forecast went quite well. We had a dusting of snow in the morning, followed by a day of light mixed precip and cold rain for the Christmas parade. I posted that evening that the forecast was right on track, and it was. Then, later that evening the 32-degree freezing line dipped all the way down to northern Cumberland County. That spooked many of us forecasters, esp when things started getting icy at my house. Would this be an ice storm, after all? We never could rule that out 100%, though my confidence was at about 90% that we would not get an ice storm. Still, that 10% of doubt haunted me all evening.

Then, a surge of warm air came across the plateau from the storm system. It wasn’t a heat wave, by any means, but it bumped our temps up to 33-36 degrees across the region. That was just enough to get 1.5 inches of liquid cold rain. By daybreak, isolated places around Grandview, Linary, Vandever, Black Mtn, and Renegade Mtn had a dusting to as much as 2 inches of snow. Renegade reported 2-5 inches of snow!

That melted, leaving us to wait on our upper level low to bring us more snow for Sunday night. Upper level lows make me nervous, as they are notorious for surprises. But, this one behaved well and we did indeed end up with at least half an inch of snow across the region. Some folks are telling me they had about two inches on their car rooftops.

As complex and complicated as this system was, things could have gone in a much worse direction. Models always struggled with this whole weekend forecast and it’s no wonder! This was one of those times when forecasters had to take the models with a grain of salt and use their own expertise to make some tough decisions. With temps flirting with freezing from the beginning of this system to the end, it’s a wonder there weren’t more surprises! What if that temp had stayed at 32 degrees all night Saturday night and all that rain had been freezing rain? Yeah, we’d still be in the dark! Or, what if it that rain had turned to snow? We’d still be shoveling! (ha)

I was happy with our winter wonderland this morning. I love snow, that’s for sure, but I also love to see it go before it gets all dirty and annoying (ha).

Records

Whew!!! Folks, if you think it’s cold now you should have been here in 1917! Dang….  The Crossville Experiment Station recorded a low of -11 degrees on the 9th and things hadn’t warmed up much by today. That’s 11 degrees below zero! Also, the Crossville Experiment Station has been a while, right?

That record cold wave led to Nashville being only one degree this morning, with an afternoon high reaching only 15 degrees. I don’t have a high for Crossville that day but you can bet it was colder than Nashville’s.

On the flip side of that….

Strong downslope winds east of the Rockies on this day in 1987 brought extremely warm temps to some places. Scottsbluff, Nebraska hit 70 degrees, as downslope winds roared through town at over 60 mph. Winds at Mines Peak, Colorado reached 97 mph with this event!

Almanac

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Sunrise: 6:40

Sunset: 4:26

Day length: 9 hrs 46 mins

Tomorrow’s Day Length: 9 hrs 45 mins

One Year Ago Today

A year ago today we had a high temperature of 40 degrees, much like we will today. The overnight low was bitter cold, though, starting the day at 18 degrees. There was no precip recorded and the highest wind gust was 15 mph.

News

It looked like a winter wonderland this morning! I love the snows that lay on the branches, etc. The wet snows always look bigger than they are. The most I could measure was 1/2 inch at my house, yet it looked like a winter wonderland.

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The best part is that the roads were still passable, so long as you were careful.IMG_20181210_070301IMG_20181210_070226IMG_20181210_070202IMG_20181210_070108IMG_20181210_070023IMG_20181210_065930IMG_20181210_065534IMG_20181210_065631IMG_20181210_065717IMG_20181210_065744IMG_20181210_065755IMG_20181210_065847IMG_20181210_064411IMG_20181210_064348IMG_20181210_064318IMG_20181210_064306

You all have a great day!

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