Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Mon., Jan 18

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Headlines 

A very active pattern!

Snow flurries tonight

Wintry mix Wednesday night/Thursday morning?

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Mostly cloudy. Flurries develop overnight, w/ no accumulation expected at this time.

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy. A chance for a sprinkle or flurry.

Wednesday: Increasing clouds. A light wintry mix possible overnight.

Thursday: Possible morning wintry mix, followed by rain showers as temps warm.

Friday: Chance of morning showers. Otherwise, partly to mostly cloudy.

Saturday: Partly cloudy.

Sunday: Showers likely.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Concerns

Overnight lows Wednesday will fall below freezing, just as a new storm system is moving in from the south. There is a chance, albeit small, that the rain will arrive before temps are able to climb above freezing. If that should happen, there could be a glaze of ice around the area late Wednesday night and possibly into Thursday morning. Confidence is low on this occurring but stay tuned for any updates. This would likely not be a snow situation, as warm air aloft would likely lead to this being a light freezing rain event. Any ice that does occur would be light and short-lived, as warm air will win out by the mid morning hours of Wednesday, at the latest.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion

I’ve created four different seven-day outlooks this morning (ha). The struggle is real when it comes to winter weather forecasting for the plateau! First of all, we have another disturbance coming through tonight. That could lead to another round of snow flurries. At this time, I don’t even see us getting a dusting from this one. I’ll keep an eye on it though. If it can tap into a bit more moisture I’ll make a special blog post this evening to update you.

The greater concern, and it is of low confidence, is the small chance for a light wintry mix Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This is one of those situations where little to nothing is likely to happen, but since it’s an ice potential, we all know it only takes a spit of ice to make for a travel problem. I’ll keep a close eye on this. The most we would get would be a glaze of ice from the rain beginning as a wintry mix. Again, I’ll keep an eye on this and let you know if anything changes.

As precip ends Thursday night, we could see another round of wintry weather but my confidence is so low on that happening that I didn’t mention it in the forecast above. After that, the forecast begins to focus on a rain-maker coming Sunday.

This is a very active pattern and that means there is the potential for quickly changing forecasts. Be sure and stay tuned!

On This Day in Wx History

1994- A record cold air mass pushes into the mid state. The high temperature reaches just 10 degrees at Nashville. The plateau is especially hard-hit, as Crossville checks in with a low of -8.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 91° at Camarillo, Beverly Hills, and Pala California 

Low: ° (data unavailable today)

Today’s National Wx Hazards

Snow flakes are flying from the Ohio Valley to New England today. More snow can be found from the Four Corners region to the northern plains.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

Snow flakes will fly from New England to the northern plains. Another area of snow will be found right on the Four Corners region of the Southwest.

 Weather Shots

I awoke to another dusting of snow this morning! I’m getting used to this (ha). And, like a typical Tennessee snow, it’s already melting and about gone by mid-morning.

NASA Nerdology

On Saturday, we conducted a hot fire test of the core stage for the @NASA_SLS rocket that will launch @NASAArtemis missions to the Moon. Find out more about the test: https://go.nasa.gov/3nPGwNt. NASA expects this rocket to be ready to slingshot us around the Moon by the end of this year!

A lot of folks say this all feels like Deja Vu. We’ve already been to the Moon, so why go back? Truth is…that was a long time ago and technology has improved by leaps and bounds. We want to go back safer and faster this time. Plus, we need to perfect going to the Moon, so that we can go to Mars more safely and efficiently. Let’s just hope the Biden administration is as generous to NASA as the Trump administration was……….

You all have a great day!

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Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Sun., Jan 17

Headlines 

More snow flurries tonight

Chilly days ahead

Rain showers arrive Wednesday night

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Mostly cloudy. Snow flurries develop overnight w/ up to a dusting of accumulation.

Monday – Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy.

Wednesday: Increasing clouds. Rain develops overnight.

Thursday – Friday: Showers likely.

Saturday: Partly cloudy.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Concerns

The best chance for a dusting of snow will be north of the interstate. The closer to Kentucky you are the better your chances.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion

At one point this morning, I reduced my confidence to “low” for tonight’s dusting of snow. I then went back and looked at a bit more data and moved my confidence back to “medium”. It’s been a dramatic morning, as you can tell (ha). Areas north of the interstate certainly have the best chance for snow flurries or a snow shower and those chances increase the closer to the Kentucky border you are.

Another rain system moves in by Wednesday night, but models sure have backed off on precip. If this trend continues, rain chances will drop from 50% to 30% even for Thursday. I’ll keep an eye on that.

There are no clear signs of any wintry weather in any of the data from yesterday, last night, or this morning. There had been hints at wintry precip for Friday, but that’s all but completely gone now. Such is the way with extended model data. Trends could still flip back, so I’ll watch it closely.

On This Day in Wx History

1999- About 350 homes and 25 businesses receive damage from straight-line winds in Columbia, Tennessee. At the Shady Brook Mall, huge panes of glass at the entrance are shattered. Forty mature trees are uprooted at the Graymere Country Club. There is $400,000 in damage to the Pepsi Cola plant alone. Overall, $4 million in damages are reported in the city. Elsewhere, softball-sized hail is reported at Pulaski, damaging numerous vehicles. This is the largest known hail ever to fall in Tennessee’s history.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 93° at Camarillo, California 

Low: -4° at Terreton, Colorado

Today’s National Wx Hazards

Snow flakes are flying across the Midwest and Northeast today, as well as across the northern plains.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

Snowflakes fly across the Midwest again, as well as along the Front Range of the Rockies and the northern plains.

 Sunday Story

Predicting the weather would be challenging enough if there were only one layer of the atmosphere to be concerned with. The fact is that the atmosphere is made up of multiple layers that each behave like a fluid. 

In other words, the atmosphere is like a river, with different layers moving at different speeds, with different temperatures, all changing by the minute. 

When a forecast is made, all layers must be considered. Unfortunately, data from the highest levels of the atmosphere is rather scarce. We rely on weather balloon launches to give us some of that data, while satellite observations provide a bit more. Overall, both offer very limited amounts of data. 

Here at the surface we have an abundance of observations due to an abundance of weather stations here on the ground. 

One example of how important it is to understand all the layers is when we have snow in the forecast. While cold surface temperatures are needed for snow, cold air is drier air. As a snowflake falls into that drier air, it can evaporate. So, while the layer the snow begins in is moist, the air it may fall into could be too dry for snow. 

Sometimes it takes so long for the falling snow to moisten up the surface air mass that all the snow evaporates before ever reaching the ground.  

During severe weather, each layer must be analyzed for wind speed and direction, as well as moisture content. Calculating the tornado risk is dependent upon properly understanding each layer’s behavior. 

An analysis of each layer is necessary to get a forecast right. Just one piece of missing or misunderstood data can completely bust a forecast. 

Considering there’s about 60,000 thousand feet of atmosphere to analyze, it’s a wonder we ever get a forecast right! 

Data from a weather balloon launch. Meteorologists, such as myself, analyzing the data from the surface up, analyzing moisture, wind speed, and temperature as they change with height.

You all have a great day!

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Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Sat., Jan. 16

Headlines 

Light snow continues

An unsettled/changeable pattern

Rain next week/ends as snow?

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Light snow. Windy. Cold. Stay inside (ha).

Sunday: Mainly morning flurries. More snow flurries could move in overnight.

Monday: Mainly morning flurries. Then gradual clearing.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy and milder.

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy.

Thursday: Rain showers likely. Mild.

Friday: Possible rain and/or snow. Turning colder.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Concerns

Light snow could lead to hazardous travel conditions today. Be careful if you must be out and about. To make matters worse, the wind will drop wind chills into the teens and lower 20s.

Another system could bring snow flurries Sunday night and Monday morning. As of now, only a dusting or so of accumulation is expected. I’ll keep an eye on that.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion

Snow showers are liable to be with us throughout the day. These “northwest flow” events are often slow to head out. Flurries will likely linger into the evening hours.

Another system is poised to move in Sunday night. Right now, I think we’ll just see a dusting or so. If moisture increases at all I’ll have to up my forecast to one inch or less. I give that about a 30% chance of happening.

Next week’s forecast is very changeable and don’t be surprised to see big swings in the forecast. It certainly looks like we’ll get milder by midweek but there are lots of questions about the end of next week. A big surge of cold air is expected to plunge into the northern plains. We could be looking at some wintry precip when that gets here, but details are very murky right now. Stay tuned.

On This Day in Wx History

2003- A major snowstorm strikes the mid state, with Nashville reporting 7″ of snow — much more than was forecast — becoming the city’s biggest snowfall in nearly 7 years. The snow begins falling around 8:00 a.m., and by mid-day the city is paralyzed with blocked interstates, numerous accidents, and large-scale gridlock.

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 96° at Santee, California 

Low: -16° at West Yellowstone, Montana

Today’s National Wx Hazards

A wintry Saturday across much of the country. Rain and snow plague the eastern US, with freezing rain wrecking havoc across northern Maine. The colder mountains of New England will see very heavy snowfall.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

Rain and snow fall in the eastern US, while snow accumulates across the northern plains and northern Rockies.

 Weather Shots

I’m starting to get used to the idea of waking up to fresh snow! Lovin’ my Saturday morning snowfall!

NASA Nerdology 

In January of 1976, Helios 2 launched on its mission to study the sun. NASA provided the launch vehicle while West Germany provided the probe itself. To me, one of the coolest things about NASA is their international partnerships. I love to see other countries working together toward a common goal.

You all have a great day!

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Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Blog for Fri., Jan 15

Friday Funny

Headlines 

Winter Weather Advisory for tonight and Saturday

A very unsettled weather pattern

A milder storm system with rain may arrives by midweek

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Vlog 

48-Hour WX

Seven-Day Forecast

Daily Forecast Summary

Today: Becoming sunny. Clouds increase toward evening. Breezy.

Tonight: Light snow develops. Accumulation likely. Breezy.

Saturday: Light snow continues, with additional accumulation. Breezy.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Snow flurries possible.

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, with a chance for showers.

Wednesday – Thursday: A chance for rain. Milder.

Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Thoughts (New!)

Clouds will quickly move in this evening, bringing light snow overnight. Some of those snow showers could be quite intense. I expect those snow showers and snow flurries to stick with us through Saturday.

Some of us may see more flurries and snow showers on Sunday. Then, an unsettled pattern turns milder. We could see some good rainfall by the middle of next week. We need it, as we’re running a bit below normal on rainfall this month.

Models get interesting at the end of next week. That’s what I call “model voo-doo” territory (ha), but there are some indications we could be looking at more snow. I’ll keep an eye on that.

Wx Threats for the Next 7 Days

Light snow is expected to develop tonight across the plateau. The snow will likely cause slick spots on area roads for Friday night and Saturday. Be safe if you must be out and about. Snow could begin soon after dark. Locations along the western edges of the plateau have the best chance for snow, including areas from Pleasant Hill, Mayland, Monterey, to Jamestown.

Please note that winds could be a it breezy tonight and tomorrow. Bundle up if you head out. Also, please make sure the outdoor pets have shelter that is free from wind and snow.

Meteorologist Mark’s Snow Scale

On This Day in Wx History

1932 – Up to two inches of snow whitened the Los Angeles basin of California. The Los Angeles Civic Center reported an inch of snow, and even the beaches of Santa Monica were whitened with snow, in what proved to be a record snowstorm for Los Angeles!

Almanac

Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes

High: 91° at Camarillo, San Pasqual Valley, & Pala, California.

Low: -10° at Bechler, Wyoming

Today’s National Wx Hazards

A wintry day across the nation! Freezing rain threatens portions of New England and the Pacific Northwest, while widespread snow falls across the Midwest and Front Range of the Rockies.

Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards

More wintry weather affects the eastern US, with Freezing rain found across parts of New England, and snow elsewhere.

 Weather Shots

I never use filters on my camera. This was the sunset yesterday evening. How crazy and beautiful is that sunset? It’s hard to believe we can have so many social issues on a planet that is so absolutely beautiful. Makes ya wonder what a difference it would make if people would step outside more…….

NASA Nerdology 

In January of 2007, HiRISE, a camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, captured this photo of Jupiter from Mars orbit. I never even thought about what other planets look like from…well…other planets! ha I’ll soon be starting a series here about what other planets would like to Earth if they were in the same spot in the sky as the Moon. It’s going to be really cool!

You all have a great day!

Please be sure and follow this site by finding that “Follow” button in the lower right corner of your screen. Thank you!

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Facebook @meteorologistmark

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