A “soup-for-lunch” kinda day

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Main Threats

Saturday: Heavy rainfall that could cause some flooding

Saturday night/Sunday: light wintry precip that could impact travel

Sunday night: bitter cold temps. Check on people, pets, and pipes

Summary

Look for rain showers for most of the day. The good news is that we’ll be mild enough to not have to worry about any frozen precipitation messing up the roads.

Friday is looking mostly cloudy, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some peaks of the sun in the afternoon or evening. Friday is the calm before the storm, so to speak.

That storm system arrives on Saturday and it will be a rain maker, for sure! Look for 2-3 inches of rain across the plateau, with isolated locations picking up a bit more than that. There could be thunderstorms in that rainy mess, and some of those could be on the strong side.

The arctic front attached to this storm system will push through late Saturday night, sending temperatures tumbling. We won’t get above freezing Sunday and will spend most of the day in the low to mid 20s. There should be some leftover moisture and that will turn to some sleet and light snow. Up to an inch or so of accumulation is possible. Be careful if you have to travel Sunday or Sunday night, as roads could be on the slick side, esp if water from Saturday’s rains is still on the road.

By Sunday night the skies clear out just in time for our lunar eclipse! (see Astronomy section below). That night air will be cold, as some of us will slip into the single digits for low temperatures.

Monday looks to be very cold, before we warm back up to around 40 for Tuesday.

Records

It was a very stormy day around here on this day in 1999. Thank goodness our system today isn’t a repeat performance of that! In Columbia, 350 homes and 25 businesses were damaged by straight-line winds. Columbia is about halfway between Nashville and the Alabama border. The Shady Brook Mall had huge panes of glass shattered at their entrance. The Graymere Country Club reported that “40 mature trees” had been uprooted across their campus. The Pepsi Cola plant had $400,000 worth of damage. By the time the numbers were tallied up, approximately four million dollars worth of damage had been done to Columbia and this was not tornado damage at all. This just proves that a severe thunderstorm can pack a punch!

Tennessee weather history was made that same day in Pulaski. It’s not exactly the kind of history you want to see your city make, though. The largest hailstone to fall in the state of Tennessee (up to this day) fell near Pulaski, part of a hailstorm that damaged numerous vehicles. The hailstone was larger than a softball. Pulaski is located south of Columbia and is nearly on the TN/AL border.

Almanac

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Record high: 65 (1974)

Record low: -13 (1982)

Tomorrow’s sunrise: 6:48

Today’s sunset: 4:52

Today’s day length: 10 hrs 03 mins 12 secs

Tomorrow’s day length: 10 hrs 04 mins 36 secs

One Year Ago Today

It was a very bitter cold day. The high only reached 15 degrees, after a sub-zero morning low of negative one degree. There was no precipitation. Skies were mostly cloudy all day, with a light breeze from the north. I bet that breeze had some bite to it!

Astronomy

Sky Viewing Conditions Tonight: Poor

Venus continues to dominate the morning sky and it will for the rest of the month. The evening sky is dominated by Mars, though it certainly isn’t all that easy to see. Still, look west of due south at dusk and you just might spot the Red planet (it looks like a red star).

It continues to look like skies may clear out just in time for us to enjoy a nice lunar eclipse Sunday night. You’ll need a big, thick coat, though!

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News

I found a new model yesterday this is quite unique. It’s from IBM, using the Watson computer system. They named it Deep Thunder (how cool is that name?). It uses data from one model and feeds into another and verified historical data. This is its output for the weekend storm that is coming. The data for TN looks viable! Look at those snowfall totals from Ohio to Maine! Wow… The plateau is that swath of white for up to an inch, just above the word “Deep” at the bottom of the image.

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The map below is weatherTAP’s winter weather map of all the winter storm watches (Northeast) and winter weather advisories (Midwest) currently in effect. The winter storm watch for the Northeast is for this weekend. The frost advisory for Florida was for this morning. That pink you see out west is for winter storm warnings. Some of the mountains of California are dealing with up to three feet of new snow and winds of up to 80 mph.

This map will continue to get more colorful over the next 24-72 hours!

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You all have a great day!

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