A Full Moon and a rainy night

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Main threats

THIS EVENING – WEDNESDAY: Dangerous FLASH FLOODING across the plateau. Please be careful if you’re out and about this evening and tonight. Also be advised that DENSE FOG advisories may be needed this evening and tonight.

SATURDAY: Another round of FLOODING RAINS.

Summary

It’s cold out there this morning, but warmer air is on the way. Whenever warm air collides with cold air you can almost bet there will be precipitation. And precipitation there will be! I want everyone to be advised that dense fog may become a very real concern this evening and tonight across the plateau. Advisories may be needed. Driving conditions this evening and tonight could be quite hazardous, due to the rain and fog. Visibilities could be reduced to near zero levels at times.

It had looked like the rain this evening and tonight would be lighter and steady. Now, it looks like there will be heavy downpours embedded within that steadier rain. That will likely prompt the issuance of flash flood warnings later this evening and tonight. I’m still looking for 2-3 inches of rain areawide by Thursday morning, with some isolated spots possibly picking up a bit more.

The latest model run at 8:00 a.m. shows steady rain moving in around noon, though a shower will be possible anytime this morning. Heavier rain may move in around the 4-6:00 pm time frame.

Rain continues on Wednesday and that could be when we see the worst of the flash flooding. A line of heavy rainfall, with embedded thunder, will cross the state during the day. That should arrive here during the afternoon hours. These quick downpours will send streams out of their banks and lead to significant ponding of water on roadways. Please be careful if you’re out traveling in this tomorrow.

Then, the rain tapers off Wednesday night and leaves us with lighter showers/sprinkles. That continues into Thursday. Hopefully, things can dry out some on Thursday, before our next big rainmaker arrives Friday night and Saturday.

The system for Friday night is of great concern, due to the flooding potential. On top of that, we are very concerned about the models showing a line of strong to severe storms moving across the state on Saturday. If we get strong winds with all this saturated soil we could be looking at widespread power outages due to downed trees and powerlines.

The Storm Prediction Center stopped short of including us in the severe wx threat for Saturday night, but they did specifically mention the Cumberland Plateau as an area they may need to include in later outlooks.

Rainfall from Friday night to Saturday will likely amount to 2-3 more inches of rain across the plateau. As I’ve been saying for days now, that means that by Sunday morning all of us will likely have 4-6 inches of rain in our rain gauges from rainfall this week! Some of you could have an inch or two more than that, though totals of that magnitude should be quite isolated.

Discussion

This time last week the models were showing heavy snow on us for today. When you think about it, that’s not a half bad forecast considering we’re 28 degrees with heavy rains knocking at our door. If this system could have been a bit faster in moving in we would be looking at heavy snow this morning.

In the end, we can be thankful this isn’t snow. We would have about 2-3 feet of snow across the plateau if all this rain coming today and tomorrow were snow. Two to three feet!

The long-range outlooks offer little hope of drier weather. Models had been indicating a return to colder, drier weather for the end of this month. Now, they show a persistent and moist flow aloft that could spell even more flooding troubles right on into March. Let’s hope the models start trending drier again!

Records

Winter certainly wasn’t finished with us yet on this day in 1960! That was the day Sparta, Tennessee picked up 10 inches of snow. The greatest one-day snowfall total in that city’s history.

On the flip side of that, the spring severe weather season for the South was off to a horrendous start on this day in 1884. At least sixty tornadoes were spawned across the Southeast. Georgia and the Carolinas were hardest hit, with 420 people losing their lives that day.

A dust storm of historic proportions hit the southern plains on this day in 1954. They hadn’t seen dust storms like this since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. Winds gusting up to 85 mph kicked up so much dust that graders had to be used to clear dust from roadways! Drifts of dust were several feet deep in places.

One thing is for sure, folks, we sure don’t have to worry about any dust storms around here anytime soon!  ha

Almanac

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Record high: 70 (1986)

Record low: -5 (2015)

Today’s sunset: 5:25

Tomorrow’s sunrise: 6:20

Today’s day length: 11 hrs 04 mins 18 secs

Tomorrow’s day length: 11 hrs 06 mins 27 secs

One year ago today

It was another spring-like day! The high temperature reached 64 degrees, after a very mild morning low of 55 degrees. That’s about as mild as you can get this time of year! Normally, with such a mild low, along with the high and low temps being so close together, I would have expected rain. But, this day was dry, though skies were mostly cloudy all day. Winds were breezy, at times gusting to 20 mph from the south.

Astronomy

Sky viewing conditions tonight: POOR

Moon phase: Full Moon, 100% illumination

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News

As we prepare to deal with even more rainfall, I thought about how desperate we were for this much rain a couple of years ago. Remember the wildfires, the water rations, the dried up yards and fields. Animals dying because they couldn’t find water. I remember people gathering on courthouse lawns to pray for rain. I think the lesson to be learned here is that when you pray you might need to add a timeline. For instance, “God, we need rain for a couple of days.” Be more specific, people! (haha)  I suppose we could gather on those same courthouse lawns and pray for the rain to stop, but who wants to stand out in all this rain?

Oh well, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”

I suppose that’s exactly what we’ll do, Henry.

You all have a great day!

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