Just ONE more day of rain and storms…Hallelujah!

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Main threats

TODAY: FLOODING AND FLASH FLOODING

TONIGHT: FLASH FLOODING AND STRONG STORMS/WINDS

SUNDAY: STRONG WINDS (non-severe. northerly winds may cause shallow-rooted trees                     to fall)

Summary

We’re watching for our squall line to develop over Arkansas today. I’m already seeing storms explode over that way this morning. Below is a look at the lightning detection network. For those of you who can’t see movies on the blog, I’ve included a still image below this one. If you can see the movie, watch how the lightning seems to fan out over Oklahoma. There’s a lot of diverging wind aloft, creating ideal conditions for t-storms.

lightning

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Later on, a line of storms will head east, intensifying as they do so. Then, as they cross the Nashville area late this evening, they should start to settle down. Even if we don’t see severe storms, strong storms with 40-50 mph could easily topple trees in this wet ground. In addition, this squall line will produce very heavy rainfall in a short period of time. This will produce significant flash flooding across the plateau and it is not to be taken lightly. If you live near a stream you better be on guard. You may see some streams rise to levels you’ve never seen before.

The latest short-range (and pretty darn accurate) models show the squall line arriving around 1:00 a.m. tonight. To be safe, I’d just say sometime between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. (I know, I know…but what can you do?) Who needs sleep, right? :/

Prepare for power outages, just in case. Be ready if the lights go out and don’t be scrambling around like a chicken with its head cut off when you end up in the dark. Don’t be that person who regrettably says, ” I should’ve listened to Meteorologist Mark.” (ha)

The Storm Prediction Center keeps the marginal and slight risk area straddling the plateau, with everyone basically west of Cumberland and Fentress County in the slight risk and the rest of us in the marginal. Our greatest threat comes from a squall line. With our saturated soils, some trees will easily topple. The threat for tornadoes is low, but not zero.

Below is the current outlook, basically showing our area at risk for severe storms tonight. To our west, the risk is MUCH greater. Make sure anyone you know living in the Nashville area knows about the risk for tornadoes there this afternoon through the evening/night.

outlook

Meanwhile, we’re dealing with rain this morning, and lots of it. Be careful if you’re out and about this morning. We should get a break in the rain this afternoon/evening as this warm front slowly lifts north into Kentucky. Let’s hope the sun doesn’t shine any. If that sun pops out that will only destabilize our atmosphere even more.

Then, the sun comes out Sunday! It will be accompanied by strong north winds but at least the sun will be out. I just worry that those strong winds may topple trees. Be aware of that. Winds could gust to 30 mph or more.

Next week is looking pretty good so far, with no major cold air or significant storm system.

That may change as we get into March. Will the month come in like a lion or a lamb? We shall see.

Discussion

It’s looking more and more likely that today will be the first tornado outbreak of the 2019 season. Tornadoes, some quite strong, will roar across north Mississippi and West TN today. Some of those will even make it into the greater Nashville area. If I were still at Mississippi State I’d be gearing up to chase today!

A moderate risk, the season’s first, has been added this morning to portions of West TN and north MS.

The good news for us on the plateau is that these storms should be on a weakening trend as they approach us. So, don’t get too worried if you hear of bad storms out west. Those will threaten us later but they shouldn’t be nearly as intense. Still, we are in the risk for some severe weather and it’s something we need to pay close attention to.

Also, be mindful of the flooding and flash flooding. We still have 1-3″ of rain coming and who knows where that will go? When that squall line comes through later, we will likely see some impressive flash flooding around the area.

Records

A massive snowstorm gripped the Mid Atlantic region on this day in 1987. In the height of the storm, Philadelphia picked up five inches of snow in just one hour! Washington DC recorded 15 inches of snow, while many other neighboring areas picked up two feet.

A fast-moving and severe blizzard struck the infamous Donner Pass on this day in 1936. At one point, 750 motorists were stranded, seven of which died. This Pass, of course, gets its name from the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846. If you recall, they were stranded in that pass in the winter and resorted to cannibalism to survive.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t go through that Pass unless it was July! Even then, I’d put pedal to the metal! (ha)

Almanac

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Record high: 75 (2018)

Record low: 5 (1963) So many record lows from the 1960s!

Today’s sunset: 5:29

Tomorrow’s sunrise: 6:15

Today’s day length: 11 hrs 13 mins 02 secs

Tomorrow’s day length: 11 hrs 15 mins 15 secs

One year ago today

It was a nice day a year ago! The high was a whopping 75 degrees, after a morning low of just 59 degrees. That set a record high for the day. Wow! That’s two days in a row of record-breaking highs. Skies were fair to partly cloudy all day and no precip fell. Winds were light from the south, southwest all day. Wish we could have bottled that up and used it these days, right?

Astronomy

Sky viewing conditions tonight: POOR

Moon phase: waning gibbous, 80% illumination

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News

It’s all systems go for the launch on March 2nd! The final briefing on the mission was held yesterday and everything is looking good!

Lordy, I’m gettin’ excited!!!

I’ll be in touch through the day, especially this evening and tonight.

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