Baldwin’s Spring-like Wx Blog for Fri., April 3

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Weather Headlines

Beautiful spring weather

Chances for showers and thunder return next week

Main threats

No hazardous weather is anticipated over this forecast period. Showers and storms next week look to stay below severe limits.


We are in for some pleasant weather! Make sure you get outside and enjoy it.

Don’t worry too much about that shower chance on Sunday. That is certainly nothing to cancel any outdoor plans over.

By Monday, our chances for a shower or storm creep up a bit, followed by a better chance on Tuesday. That is from a weakening cold front that will be moving through the area. Storms should stay below severe limits.

The second half of the week features more slight chances for showers and storms, as it looks right now. A stronger cold front by the weekend will bring better rain chances, followed by another cool shot of air and more than likely another frosty night or two.


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Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

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Wx Hazards Across the Nation

More wintry weather is expected up the middle of the country. Some of that ice and snow will fall as far south as Oklahoma! Strong to severe storms are possible on the warmer side of that system in southern Texas. Showers are expected in the Northeast, with that rain changing to snow in the mountains. Dry air and gusty winds will create a wildfire danger across the Carolinas today. Folks are advised not to burn outside. Meanwhile, another series of winter storms will be moving into the West Coast over the next 48-72 hours, bringing up to three feet of snow to the mountains of central and northern California.



On April 3, 1974 the Upper Cumberlands were struck by the worst tornado outbreak in our region’s recorded history. Across Middle TN, an unprecedented 24 tornadoes touch down, many of which were strong, some of which were violent. Fifty-four people are killed and 655 are injured. Across the nation, 148 tornadoes are recorded across 13 states.

A violent F-4 tornado struck Putnam County that evening, killing 10. This was the deadliest tornado in Putnam County’s history prior to last month’s tornado. The twister struck about six miles southeast of town.

Jamestown was also hit by a violent F-4 tornado that killed seven. This is the same supercell that had spawned the Cookeville tornado. The tornado flattened subdivisions on the southern side of Jamestown. Witnesses noted a large funnel with multiple vortices  on the ground approaching town from the southwest.

Incredibly, every county in the Upper Cumberlands experiences a strong or violent tornado. White, Putnam, Overton, Pickett, and Fentress Counties had an F-4 affect their county that day. Cumberland had an F-3 that barreled down Plateau Road, miraculously killing no one. Numerous homes were leveled.

Thanks to this outbreak, the NWS completely revamped its watch/warning program. NOAA weather radios became much more popular. Those radios were invented just 14 years earlier. Educating the public on what to do during a tornado became a top priority of the weather service, too. No doubt countless lives have been saved from these efforts.

This is an outbreak we hope to never see the likes of again!


This is a map of the tornado tracks across Middle TN and their intensity. Today, at least one of those red lines (F-4 tornadoes) across the Upper Cumberlands might have been rated EF-5. To date, only one F-5 has ever occurred in TN and that was in southern Middle TN on April 16, 1998. On the map, notice the number of F3s and F4s. Just absolutely remarkable.

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Friday Funny


NASA Knowledge

This 2010 image from the Herschel Space Observatory shows dust clouds associated with the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the Monoceros, or Unicorn, constellation. Herschel collected the infrared light given out by dust. The bright smudges are dusty cocoons containing massive embryonic stars, which will grow up to 10 times the mass of our Sun. The small spots near the center of the image are lower mass stellar embryos. The nebula itself is located to the right of the picture, along with its massive cluster of stars. Isn’t that just an incredible sight!?



The American Meteorological Society is making all of its journals free through June! From the American Meteorological Society (AMS), “…As part of AMS’s response to COVID-19, currently all AMS journal articles are freely available, effective 25 March through 30 June 2020. We hope this may be helpful to researchers and students and others in our communities who may have challenges with their usual access methods, as well as helpful to the librarians who serve them.” The link to these articles can be found here:

Baldwin’s Clip-of-the-Day (New Section!)

This is a two-day water vapor satellite time-lapse of the big East Coast storm this week. For reference, find the Florida peninsula in the lower left of the screen. The yellow (drier air) is right over Cuba for much of the animation. For you meteorologists, the 500-mb pressure line is solid, while sea-level pressure is shown with dotted lines. (Video thanks to Bill Line (@bill_line)) (5)

You all have a great day!

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