Baldwin’s Drier Wx Blog for April Fool’s Day

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Weather Headlines

A welcome streak of dry days!

The next system arrives by the end of the weekend

Next week looking wet and unsettled

Main threats

Patchy frost is very likely tonight. Be sure and protect tender plants that may be sprouting or budding.

Summary

Happy April Fool’s Day! And no, this forecast ain’t foolin’ around! (ha)

Clouds will gradually move out today, leaving us with some cool early-April sunshine. By tomorrow, we’ll be ten degrees warmer than today and Friday will be ten degrees warmer than Thursday. That’s a nice trend!

Our next system may try to move in on Sunday, but it’s certainly not looking like a washout. Sunday may just be one of those warm spring days with a shower or three across the plateau.

Next week is looking wet and unsettled. At this time, there are no clear indications of severe weather or heavy rainfall, but that could change with the pattern we will be going into.

Almanac

I noticed on the almanac below that we were 24 degrees this time last year for a morning low!

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Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

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Wx Hazards Across the Nation

A big winter storm is moving across the northwestern US, bringing very heavy mountain snows and valley rains/freezing rain. That’s a cold system! Elsewhere, some light wintry precip can be found across New England, as well as the southern Appalachian Mountains. It’s a cool start to April across the nation!

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Records

On this day in 1974 severe thunderstorms struck West Tennessee. Some of those storms hit around the Nashville area, as well. In fact, the fastest recorded wind gust ever measured in the city was measured that day at the Nashville International Airport (96 mph). Two people were killed in Nashville in storms.

These storms were bad, for sure, but they were nothing compared to what was coming. What’s even more interesting is that these storms likely contributed to even worse storms in the days ahead. I’ll have much more on this in the coming days….

Wednesday Wind Day

Wind develops because of a difference in air pressure. Wind always blows from highs to lows. In other words, wind always blows from high pressure to low pressure.

A good example of this happens nearly every day on the beach in the summer. The ocean water warms much more slowly than the nearby land. That means the water is cooler and, in turn, the air above the water is cooler. Cooler air is heavier and has a higher pressure.

Meanwhile, the sandy beach heats up pretty quickly. That warm air rises and creates lower pressure. Rising air means the atmosphere above pushes down on us less, that creates a lower pressure situation.

Since wind blows from higher pressure to lower pressure, a breeze develops in the afternoon from the water to the beach. This can offer some refreshing breezes, but it can also kick off afternoon storms. That incoming sea breeze acts as a little cold front, with cooler ocean air moving in and replacing hotter beach air. So, you get a breeze and distant rumbles of thunder.

Anyone else ready to go to the beach now? (ha)

Science poster design for sea breeze

NASA Knowledge

The first successful low-orbital weather satellite, TIROS-1, was launched by NASA at Cape Canaveral on this day in 1960. This was the first satellite to test the idea of using satellites to study the Earth. TIROS also showed that satellites could vastly improve hurricane forecasting. The satellite opened the flood gates for other research satellites.

This satellite was also the first to transmit images to TV from space. In fact, the image below is the first TV image of Earth by a satellite. TIROS operated from April to June 15, 1960. We’ve come a long way with satellites!

TIROS-1-Earth

News

Well, I applied to be an astronaut yesterday! The deadline was midnight and I made it! (ha) It was actually a quite lengthy application, with tests, essays, etc. I was glad to be finished with that! Now, we wait. I’m honestly pretty sure I would turn it down. Based on the questions asked…well, let’s just say that’s no job like I’ve ever applied for before! They said we would know within the year. Dang, must take a while to go through all the applications (ha). I just want the letter thanking me for applying. 🙂

You all have a great day!

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A tornado and an earthquake? An interesting day in the Northwest!

A tornado was reported earlier this afternoon in southeast Washington State. Quite the unusual event, to say the least, for that area. The twister was seen by numerous people but damage appears to be on the minimal side. It appears to have struck the north side of the city of Richland. The tornado occurred where you see that red dot in Washington.

storm

Then, just about an hour ago a strong earthquake struck northern Idaho. The magnitude 6.5 quake has rattled homes and nerves. Thankfully, damage appears to be minimal, as it seems to have occurred in a rural part of Idaho. Still, many homes have some minor damage. The quake was felt as far away as Seattle!

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Baldwin’s Wet Wx Blog for Tues., March 31

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Weather Headlines

A rainy day

Frost for Thursday morning

Our next system arrives Saturday night and Sunday

Main threats

Frost is likely by Thursday morning. Keep this in mind if you have tender plants sprouting and budding.

Summary

We’ll see a rainy day today, with rainfall totals of around one-half to three quarters of an inch. No flooding problems are anticipated.

Skies will clear out tomorrow, and it shouldn’t be half bad. It will be on the cool side but we should see some sun and that always helps out.

Thursday and Friday look dry and mostly sunny. I think we may even get in a nice Saturday, though there will be more clouds trying to move in and a shower or two across the region. Those clouds are ahead of our next system that will be moving in by the end of the weekend. Don’t worry too much about Sunday, though, as it looks like isolated activity at this point. I’ll fine tune that weekend forecast as we get closer.

Almanac

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Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

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Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Severe storms threaten the Deep South today, from southern Alabama through southern Georgia. Tornado watches are in place this morning. A cold rain overspreads the Midsouth, from northern Arkansas, across TN to the Virginias. Temps are cold enough for mountain snow in West Virginia today and tonight. More wintry weather threatens the Pacific Northwest and northern plains today.

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Records

The worst snowstorm on record struck St. Louis, Missouri on this day in 1890. Twenty inches of snow fell in just 24 hours.

The worst tornado disaster in Florida history struck that state on this day in 1962. Milton, Florida lost 17 people, with another 100 being injured.

The costliest tornado in Georgia’s history struck the northern part of that state on this day in 1973. The tornado cut a nearly continuous path of destruction for 75 miles. The total damages topped 113 million dollars.

Twister Tuesday

Tennessee is no stranger to tornadoes. The map below shows tornadoes by county since 1950. The map ends at 2018, so we already know numbers have risen for some of these counties because of this year’s tornadoes. There is some population bias, as there is with most any tornado study. It’s not that tornadoes especially love populated areas, it’s just that they are much more likely to be reported there. Still, there are areas in the state that are certainly harder hit than others. For instance, our southern Middle TN counties are very rural, yet look at those numbers.

TennesseeTornadoes_State

NASA Knowledge

Don’t forget that NASA has some cool home educational things you can do with the kids! Check those out by following the link! You may have to play around with it all for a while to figure out how it all works. Once you do, it looks really cool!

https://www.nasa.gov/stem

News

Many of you saw where the NWS has concluded that Cumberland County did not have a tornado Saturday night. I agree 100%. Using radar and site surveying information, there is no evidence of converging winds that are necessary to prove a tornado occurred. I saw LOTS of trees down. With our saturated soils, we’re going to see trees come down anytime we have wind this spring.

I hope this also reiterates how serious severe t-storms can be. Storms have been documented to produce straight-line winds well over 100 mph. Our storms produced gust to at least 95 mph. Whether that wind is coming straight at you, or spinning round and round, it’s going to cause a lot of damage, especially to trees in saturated soils.

For perspective, the Rinnie tornado earlier this month produced less damage in our community than the straight-line winds did around town and Pleasant Hill Saturday night. Our tornado had 85 mph winds and a narrow path, while damaging straight-line winds Saturday night covered a wide swath and, at times, topped 95 mph. The only difference is that our damage converged to a point and Saturday night’s damage did not. Please take severe t-storm warnings seriously, folks.

Pictured below is the radar loop form Saturday night, with watches and warnings added.

GIF Radar Loop

You all have a great day!

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