Snow Update (9:30 a.m)

Some of you have found yourselves under some heavier snow bands. I’ve seen a report of 1.5 inches behind the experiment station on Highway 70 (pictured below). I’ve seen some other pictures from the north end of the county with about that much too.

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Remember, to accurately measure snow you need to find three exposed, level surface and measure in three different places. Take the average of those three and you have your snow amount.

The deepest moisture with this system will soon be passing through. I’d expect another one to two hours of good snow, maybe a bit more. Then, it will taper off. Accumulations across the plateau should range from 1-2 inches, with locally higher amounts (as always).

You all stay safe out there. Right now, main roads are clear her in town and I have about half an inch of snow on the roof of weatherTAP. I’ll be venturing out a bit later to see how much snow is elsewhere around town.

Main roads should be alright today, but I’ve seen pictures of some back roads that look awful. Drive safe!

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Baldwin’s Blog for Thursday, Feb. 20

Let it snow!

Today

Weather Headlines

Winter weather advisory today for light snow

Sunny skies return for Friday and stick around for a couple of days

Rain returns by Monday

Next week looking unsettled

Main threats

A winter weather advisory means that minor travel issues are possible, due to light snow today. A winter weather advisory is the lowest of the winter weather threat levels. The main roads should stay alright, but be careful on bridges, overpasses, and untreated back roads.

Tonight, refreezing could lead to some more slick spots.

Summary

Well, the precip is here. The battle is now between the dry air we have here at the surface and the precip falling into it. While temps stayed above freezing last night, the dry air here at the surface is causing any precip that falls into it to evaporate. Since evaporation is a cooling process, temps are now falling closer to the freezing mark as more and more precip tries to move in. Cooling the air also saturates it, so more and more snow flakes should be able to make it to the ground as we go through the day.

We are on the northern fringes of a Gulf low pressure system. That means we’re on the colder side of the side, with north winds prevailing here at the surface. This also means that precip will be generally light, though there could be some moderate bursts of snow from time to time, as well.

The radar image below shows us on the northern fringes of this Gulf system.

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Accumulations should stay on the light side, with grassy areas, etc being the best at collecting the snow. Pre-treated roads, along with temps just marginal enough for snowfall, should keep major roadways in good shape. As temps drop into the teens tonight, however, we may see some refreezing on roadways.

By tomorrow afternoon, this will all be a memory. That late-February sunshine should be the demise of any snow that may still be around. That sun should stay with us through Saturday.

Enjoy it. Next week looks unsettled, with rain chances the beginning of the week, possibly followed by more wintry weather chances at the end of the week. Maybe Ma Nature will give me some snow for my birthday on Thursday? We shall see. ha

Almanac

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Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

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Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Severe Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories

More heavy rainfall is expected across the Deep South today, where many streams are still well above flood stage.

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Winter Weather Watches, Warnings, and Advisories

Wind chill advisories cover the northern plains. Bitter cold air and gusty winds are responsible for those advisories. In the South, winter weather advisories stretch from TN to the Atlantic Coast. Closer to the coasts of northeastern North Carolina and Virginia, several inches of snow are expected, prompting the issuance of winter storm warnings.

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Records

Five years ago today the plateau was in the grips of an historic ice storm. You hadn’t forgotten about that had ya? (ha) The weight of over an inch of ice and 50 mph wind gusts brought down over 700 power poles and hundreds of trees. This was considered the worst natural disaster in Cumberland County history.

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Thirsty Thursday

In a 100-year period of time, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, two weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere.

NASA Knowledge

I mentioned yesterday that Vice President Pence visited Langley Research Center yesterday. As expected, his visit was about their role in helping us get back to the Moon. What an exciting project to be working on! Love or hate this administration, their support for NASA is appreciated by so many of us.

“It’s an honor to be among men and women who will play a decisive role when in four years’ time we return American astronauts to the Moon and make sure the first women and the next man on the moon will be Americans,” Pence told employees during his remarks.

“Once we get back to the Moon, as the President said, we’re going to establish the foundation for an eventual mission to Mars. We are going Moon to Mars,” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

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News

I had a wonderful time talking with the kids at Home Away From Home yesterday about NASA and space! They had some good questions and were some of the best kids I’ve ever visited. Makes me wonder if I was in the presence of a future astronaut…..

You all have a great day!

7day

Winter Weather Advisory (5:45 a.m)

The National Weather Service in Nashville has finally decided to issue a winter weather advisory for the Cumberland Plateau for today. The advisory expires at 6:00 pm. I had wondered if they would include Fentress County and they did, per latest guidance.

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As is often the case with systems like this, the moisture has moved in a bit earlier. The main brunt of moisture should still hold off until after 7:00 or so, but there are some raindrops, etc out there this morning. Temps are currently in the low to mid 30s across the plateau.

As more and more moisture moves in, our temps will drop. Our air is very dry right now and as rain fall through it, the rain evaporates. Evaporation is a cooling process and that will drop the temperature on down. That, in turn, will change any liquid precip to snow.

The NWS thinks some of us will see up to two inches of snow. While that is possible, I think that will be confined to isolated areas and the highest elevations. Remember, there are always those isolated areas that end up with a bit more than everyone else. Generally, I think most of us will stay around an inch.

One adjustment I need to make is to increase the snow accumulation for Fentress and Overton Counties. I now think you all could pick up a half inch to one inch. There’s a bit more moisture coming your way that should help with you all’s accumulation.

A winter weather advisory means there could be some slick spots on area roads. Major impacts to travel are not expected from snow. Plus, many major roads have been pre-treated across the plateau. Just be careful on bridges, overpasses, and back roads today.

Precip is still expected to be on the lighter side, though some moderate bursts of snow are certainly possible. There’s a lot of moisture with this system and we’re on the northern fringes of it.

The radar looks kinda cool this morning. Like I said, our air is very dry here at the surface. Our radar is located in Nashville and that beam increases in height as it goes away from the radar site. Notice how it looks like there’s no precip near Nashville but there is precip the farther out you go. That radar beam, as it gets higher in the sky the farther away from Nashville it gets, is detecting virga, or precip that evaporates before it hits the ground. Pretty neat, huh?

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You all just drive safe today. Allow yourself extra time to get where you’re going and you should be fine, weatherwise.

I’ll have a full morning blog update later this morning!

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