Get ready for dangerously cold temps

picture4

Main threats

Wednesday and Wednesday night: BITTER COLD (check on people, pets, and pipes)

Friday morning: TRAVEL IMPACT: MEDIUM (wintry mix?)

Summary

Snow flurries, and even some snow showers, will continue through at least noon, as temperatures hold steady, or even slowly fall. We are currently 19 degrees. Be careful if you’re out and about and watch for any slick spots. Make sure you’re good and bundled up!

Another arctic front is on the way and will arrive late tonight. This will usher in the coldest air of the season, folks. This has been well-advertised and you would be wise to prepare for this. It’s not out of the question that we could go down to zero in some locations by Thursday morning. I doubt we ever make it out of the teens for highs tomorrow. To make matters worse, we may be dealing with a light north breeze, which would make it feel much colder.

Please make sure the people in your life are warm, that your outdoor pets are adequately sheltered, and that your pipes are protected. I heard several horror stories about busted pipes in our last cold snap. Leave those faucets dripping and make sure you have heat under your house, where the pipes are.

The arctic front coming tonight could kick off some snow showers or snow flurries, but a dusting is usually all we can squeeze out of such a scenario, so I don’t foresee any major travel impacts.

Thursday looks pretty good, but our next system will be organizing to our southwest. This system has plenty of warm air with it (look at that 50 on Saturday!), BUT the ground will be cold and temperatures may be below freezing when the first rain drops arrive with that system. Therefore, Friday morning could be a tricky commute. Hopefully, the rain will arrive late enough to spare us any issues. This is just Tuesday, so there’s plenty of time for changes with that forecast. Just be aware that possibility is there.

For those of you who like warmer weather, that looks to be in the cards for the coming weekend and into next week.

Below is the temperature outlook for February 3-7.

610temp.new

Records

Yesterday, I told you of a front that crossed the Midstate that would set the stage for a natural disaster unlike anything parts of Middle Tennessee had ever seen. Today, that disaster began to unfold in the form of freezing rain. We’re very familiar with that around here, right?

Freezing rain occurs when the warm above us is warmer than the air here at the surface. Arctic air is dense and shallow, making it “hug” the ground, thanks to gravity’s pull. When warm air from the south encounters this cold, shallow air, it tends to take the easier path of going up and over it, rather than try to shove it along the surface. This can lead to freezing rain, which is rain that freezes upon contact with surface objects that are below freezing. The warmer air aloft allows the rain to fall, while the temperatures at the surface are still below freezing.

Freezing rain, mixed with snow, began falling across the Midstate in the evening on this day in 1951. By midnight, Nashville was buried underneath 1.6 inches of a snow and ice mix, absolutely crippling the city. This remains the worst ice storm in the history of the city of Nashville. Transportation would be absolutely impossible for two days.

The winter of 1951 would prove to be, by many standards, the worst Nashville would ever see in recorded history. As bad as this ice storm was that fell on the night of the 28th, nothing would compare with what the final day of January would bring……

More on that over the next few days…

Almanac

picture5

Record high:  71 (2002)

Record low: -6 (1966)

Today’s sunset: 5:04

Tomorrow’s sunrise: 6:41

Today’s day length: 10 hrs 22 mins 17 secs

Tomorrow’s day length: 10 hrs 24 mins 04 secs

One year ago today

One year ago today the high was back up to 50 degrees, after a morning low of 26 degrees. During the late evening, a cold front moved in and produced a trace of light snow, as temperatures quickly cooled to the teens by 10:00 pm. North winds were light most of the day, becoming gusty by evening.

Astronomy

Sky viewing conditions: POOR

Moon phase: waning crescent, 34% illumination (#6 below)

phases-of-the-moon-2

Nothing to see but clouds tonight! Stay tuned, though, I have a special astronomical treat for you early birds come Thursday!

News

The upper Midwest is blanketed with wind chill advisories, warning of “feels like” temperatures that could dip to 50-60 below zero. Their temps are expected to dip down to 20 and 30 below zeros, with a stiff north breeze. Talk about cold!

And, since our cold snap coming now is from the infamous polar vortex, I thought I’d share a very informative graphic about it that NOAA shared on Twitter yesterday. The polar vortex is nothing new, but it sure has gotten famous in the past few years!

graphic- polar vortex infographic-noaa-800x575

And Snowbirds, I know you’re disappointed with the spit of snow we’ve gotten from this system but hang in there. These northern systems hardly ever give us anything. We need a big ole Gulf low to come our way! As soon as I see any hint of that coming, I’ll be the first to let you know!

You all have a great day and stay warm! Remember, PEOPLE, PETS, PIPES!

I also want to mention that today is my Dad’s birthday. I got him some cold air and snow flurries, his two least favorite things (ha). Oh well. Mom, when you’re finished making you all’s breakfast and you read this blog in a few minutes, tell Dad I wished him a very happy birthday in the blog this morning (ha).

Happy birthday, Dad!!!

2 thoughts on “Get ready for dangerously cold temps

  1. Okay well I’m up here in Chicago and I’ve seen worse…Doesn’t mean I’m liking this weather at all. Back in 1979 we had a really tough winter too!!! That was the year I got married. So it only seems fitting that we were due for another one. 40 years OMG…Stay warm, I know I will.

Leave a Reply