Posted on Leave a comment

Our first snow flurries!!! This morning!!!

BREAKING NEWS!!!! I have spotted our first snow flurries of the season!!! November 10, 2018..mark the date! Picture8

Main Threats

Tonight: Hard freeze conditions

Monday night/Tuesday: wintry precipitation

Tuesday night: bitter cold temps


For today, we’ll see partly to mostly sunny skies but that sunshine will do little to warm us up. Highs today will struggle to get into the upper 30s, so bundle up if you’re heading out to any Veteran’s Day parades.

By Sunday, we’ll see clouds begin to increase during the evening and that will lead to rain for Monday. The second half of Monday is looking much wetter than the first half.

Then, things get interesting late Monday night, as very cold air filters onto the Cumberland Plateau. That cold air will likely change the rain to snow. Snow showers/flurries are expected to continue into the day Tuesday.

As far as accumulation goes, it looks to be very light. Confidence is high that we’ll see snow flakes, but confidence is quite low that we’ll see significant accumulation. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, to see things get a little white….. Stay tuned.

The bigger weather news story may be that bitter cold air coming in Tuesday night. You might want to think about your outdoor pets. This is early for this kind of cold. Normal lows this time of year are 38-40 degrees, so this is very below normal cold air.


We had just enough moisture in the air to produce the season’s first snow flurries! We’re about on schedule for that, as we often do see our first flurries in November.

I’m still watching the Monday night/Tuesday system very closely. Any change in the timing of the arrival of the arctic air or any change in the track of the low pressure system in the South could have big impacts on the forecast. Stay tuned. I’ll update on Sunday and as needed.


Today is the anniversary of the F-3 tornado that hit Tansi. The storm was part of a tornado outbreak that impacted Middle TN.  By the end of the outbreak, eight people had been killed across Middle TN alone, including four from Cumberland County. This is the deadliest tornado on record for Cumberland County.

The outbreak began for us later in the afternoon of November 10th. We had a record high that day of 75 degrees, setting the stage for a very warm and unstable airmass to interact with a strong storm system.  Numerous tornado warnings were issued that evening, with eight tornadoes being confirmed.

The severe weather outbreak was expected to be in the form of an intense squall line that would race across the state in the late evening. However, the atmosphere became so unstable that isolated thunderstorms began to pop up that afternoon. These storms formed in a highly sheared environment capable of supporting tornadoes.

Cumberland County had been placed under tornado warnings twice before the third and most serious one was issued. Baseball-sized hail also accompanied the storm, which is much larger than we’re accustomed to around here.

I’ll never forget watching the radar and seeing the squall line cross the plateau. I noticed a “kink” in the line (you all have heard me mention those before) west of Tansi and I immediately knew Tansi was in trouble. Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed when I started hearing calls for “all hands on deck” for emergency personnel.

Some of you may recall that Morgan County was hit hard by these storms, too. The community of Mossy Grove was devastated by a tornado that touched down as it descended the mountain they thought protected them from such violent storms. Seven people lost their lives in that little community that night. The next day I heard Paul Harvey say that an F-5 had hit Morgan County, Tennessee. He was wrong; it just looked like it had been hit by an F-5. The tornado was officially ranked F-3. The incredible, F5-like, destruction was a credit to poor housing.


I’m very excited to announce that I learned last evening that yet another newspaper will be picking up my weather stories! I already write for the Fentress Courier and the Livingston Enterprise. Now, I’ll be writing weather stories for the Scott County News, Scott County’s oldest newspaper! They just turned 116 years old. I am so proud to have been invited to be a part of a regional newspaper so steeped in history. So, now the folks in Overton, Fentress, and Scott counties will be reading my weather stories! I’m so excited!

Speaking of which….

This is the story that was printed in this week’s paper. I hope you enjoy!

Dust Bowl in Tennessee

Whenever you think of the Dust Bowl Era you probably think of the Great Plains and the impact that event had on those areas. You may not know that the Dust Bowl affected us here in Tennessee, too!

The Dust Bowl Era was a time period in the 1930s when poor farm practices and extreme drought combined to create one of the worst agricultural disasters in American history. A lot of lessons were learned from this disaster, but many families had to suffer the consequences of those lessons being learned too late.

The drought dried up the soil, but farming practices made the soil more vulnerable to the wind than it would have otherwise been. The result was enormous, ominous clouds of black dust blowing across the Plains with each new gust of wind.

The dust storms were made worse, in part, by demand for wheat in Europe after WWI. This led to vast amounts of real-estate being plowed and improperly farmed across the Plains states during the 1920s.

The dust began arriving in Tennessee in November of 1933. By the middle of the month, some locations across Middle Tennessee had visibilities reduced to less than one-half mile! Westerly winds that bring storm systems our way from the west were carrying dust storms our way during this time period.  

Dust from these storms even darkened skies as far east as New York City and Washington DC.

By 1939, rain began returning to the Plains, bringing an end to a decade of agricultural misery.

Thankfully, much of the Southern Plains and Southeast have received more than enough rainfall to avoid a drought this year. In fact, if we do not get another drop of rain from now until December 31st we would still end the year above average on precipitation.


Posted on Leave a comment

Cautiously optimistic about sN_w

I tried to code the “s-word” so as not to jinx anything. After two years of snow drought on the plateau I’m willing to try anything to not jeopardize our chances (ha).

The data that has been coming in today has been looking pretty darn good for some flakes to be flying Monday night and Tuesday around here. Keep your fingers crossed, snow birds! I don’t think it will be a winter storm but I could see us getting some light accumulation. Tuesday looks downright wintry, with highs around freezing and snow showers/flurries all day. I wouldn’t be surprised to see low temps Tuesday night dip to 10-15 degrees across the plateau.

Interestingly, it was this time last week that model guidance was screaming severe weather for TN for Monday night. A week later those same models are strongly suggesting snow for the plateau Monday night/Tuesday. My confidence is near 100% that we’ll see snow flakes on the plateau but I’m only about 30% sure we’ll see accumulation. Stay tuned! This is an ever changing, challenging forecast!

I also want to mention that guidance suggest we will only get into the mid 30s tomorrow. That’s five degrees colder than it looked this morning. Just keep that in mind if you’re going to any Veteran’s Day parades tomorrow.

I’ll be updating this wintry forecast as we go through the weekend!

Posted on Leave a comment

Winter is here


Main Threats

Tonight: Freeze warning

Saturday night: Hard freeze conditions

Monday night: wintry precipitation

Tuesday night: Bitter cold temps


Yesterday, I told you that winter was knocking at the door. Now, it’s about to kick that door down. Notice that overnight lows are about to take a plunge. Tomorrow will be quite chilly, as well. We are not used to temperatures like this. Notice that next week’s morning lows drop into the mid teens, and that may be a bit on the warm side if we have any snow around.

Today, look for rain to continue up until about noon. Then we’ll be left with only sprinkles and falling temperatures. It will be noticeably cooler when you leave work this evening. Temps will be slow to recover on Saturday, even with sunshine. Most, if not all, of the day will be spent in the 30s. The last time we had a “coldest day of the season” was a Saturday, too. That was when we didn’t get out of the 40s. I think that was two weeks ago tomorrow?

Sunday looks decent, but we’ll be staring down the barrel of an even more potent cold front. This time, we’re dealing with an arctic front. That’s why lows will drop into the teens early next week. Moisture will build out ahead of the front in the form of rain for Monday. As the front moves through, any moisture left behind will turn to snow showers/flurries Monday night/Tuesday morning. Light accumulation isn’t out of the question. I think the bigger story may be those bitter cold nights. Brrrrr


All eyes are on the Monday night chance for snow. It still looks like the bulk of the moisture will be gone before the really cold air settles in, but I still think our chances of seeing snowflakes is quite high. It’s certainly not uncommon to see the season’s first flurries/snow showers in November, so we’re on track for that. What isn’t so common is overnight lows in the mid teens. That’s very cold for November. Our normal low for this time of year is 40 degrees.

I’ll keep monitoring the situation for Monday night and I’ll post updates, as needed, throughout the weekend.

Can you tell it’s the change of seasons. Last weekend I was updating you all on the severe weather potential for Monday night. This weekend I’m updating you on the winter weather potential for Monday night. My work is never done (or boring!). Haha


Yesterday, I talked about the first storm warning that was issued by what we call the National Weather Service today. I told you storms can get very intense up there. Today’s records prove my point.

On this day in 1913, a rapidly deepening low pressure system causes unpredicted gales on the Great Lakes. They called it the “Freshwater Fury.” Eight large ore carriers on Lake Erie sank, drowning 270 sailors. Cleveland, Ohio received 17.4 inches of snow in 24 hours from the system, along with 50 mph winds. One wind gust hit 79 mph (can you imagine the snow drifts?). Buffalo, New York had wind gusts to 80 mph and heavy snow. Farther south, Pickens, West Virginia picked up three feet of snow in the mountains! What a storm!

On this day in 1996 a storm deemed the Veteran’s Day storm was the most severe early-season lake-effect snow the Great Lakes has seen in 50 years. Damaging winds knocked out power to 160,000 customers. From the 9th through the 14th, snowfall totals reached 70 inches in some locations!!! Seventy inches! That’s almost six feet of snow. That’s more than half of what I want over the course of a whole winter! (ha).




Folks in California are once again dealing with horrific wildfires. Keep those folks close to your hearts. As you know, they’re also dealing with the shock of the mass shooting that took place there this week, too. It’s a rough week for California.

This was a photo captured yesterday near Chico, California. This apocalyptic scene is of a burned down church of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. The fire danger remains high there again today.

Remember, it was only two years ago that drought and wind combined to bring us the big fires near Gatlinburg. I think we can deal with today’s rain and cold, don’t you? (photo by Scott Strazzante)


The smoke from this fire was so intense that I was able to see it on weatherTAP’s satellite imagery yesterday! If you can play the video, notice that smoke plume in northern California.


You all have a great day and I’ll keep you posted on our snow chances Monday night!

And don’t forget to stay warm tonight! The entire state of TN is under a freeze warning.


Posted on Leave a comment

Freeze Warning Just Issued

The NWS Nashville has now issued a FREEZE WARNING for all of Middle TN for Friday night. This will be our first widespread hard freeze of the season. They issued this statement….


The National Weather Service in Nashville has issued a Freeze
Warning, which is in effect from 11 PM Friday to 11 AM CST


* IMPACTS…Sensitive plants left outdoors will likely be killed.
The period of freezing temperatures could be up to 10 hours
long in some areas.


A Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or
highly likely. A hard freeze is considered to be temperatures of
27 degrees or less. These conditions will kill crops and other
sensitive vegetation.