March 17, 2018 Severe Thunderstorm Watch until Midnight

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for all of our area until midnight tonight. It’s going to include a lot of central Kentucky all the way through West Virginia and down to Western North Carolina. Here’s the map:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch until midnight. From the NWS Storm Prediction Center.

Storms are starting to fire up in Kentucky, at the far northwestern end of the watch box southwest of Lexington. These storms are going to move southeast toward us later today, and will arrive in our area this evening.

The main threats with the storms today are damaging winds and large hail. The chance of tornadoes is low–hence this being a severe thunderstorm watch–but is not zero.

That said, if you have anything outside that you don’t want hail damaged, move it inside if you can, or at least into a carport if you don’t have a garage or basement. Anything outside should probably be moved in as well just in case. Storms won’t be here for a few hours yet, so you’ve got some time.

I’ll be heading in to the studios this evening to watch the storms move in. Again, this is mainly a thunder and lightning, wind and hail event, and my services might not be needed. That said, stay tuned to my Twitter and this page for the latest throughout the evening.

Should my services be needed on the air, I’ll be mainly on WHCB 91.5 FM. I will also move over to 96.3 The Possum and 97.3 Love FM as well. Make sure you have your wireless alerts on your phone or that the weather radio is in working order so you’ll get instant warnings. Then, take action as needed! Check the safety rules page for more on that as the storms approach.

October 1, 2015 #TriCitiesWx Forecast

Welcome to the fourth quarter! Three months remain in 2015, and what is historically one of our drier months won’t start that way! Details on lots of rain and a hurricane are up on today’s Tri-Cities Weather Blog Forecast. Thanks for stopping by!

The weather world is all aflutter about Hurricane Joaquin (pronounced wah-KEEN if you’re interested), and with good reason. There’s another low pressure closer to the South Carolina/Georgia coast that will cause us problems even if the hurricane doesn’t.  But more on those two areas of low pressure in a bit.

Right now, there are scattered rain showers around parts of the area as of 5:25pm. Temperatures are in the mid to upper 60’s for most of us, but for folks like Boone, where there’s already been a lot of rain, they haven’t seen 60 yet. Or if they did earlier, it didn’t happen for long. We should have cooler than normal conditions through most of the weekend, as evidenced by today’s short forecast. Discussion to come!

Tonight-Cloudy, scattered mainly light rain showers. Low near 60. Fog possible in spots.

Friday-Mostly cloudy, rain likely but mostly late. High 67.

Friday night-Rain, with heavy rainfall at times, especially after midnight. Low 57.

Saturday-Rain. Heavy rainfall likely. High 63.

Sunday-Cloudy, scattered showers likely. High 65.

Monday-Partly to mostly cloudy, rain starts to taper off. Highs near 70.

There’s a lot to discuss, but first, the National Weather Service has our entire area under a Flash Flood Watch starting Saturday morning at 8am through Monday at 7am. There will very likely be heavy rain, and flooding will be an issue in spots. Keep that in mind, and if you normally have to go to higher ground in situations like this, get your plans together to do just that, starting Saturday morning.

All of this rain is not, at least just yet, caused by Hurricane Joaquin. There is low pressure just off the east coast–just west of the hurricane–that is sending all this rain in here. It’s part of that cold front that we got through here a while ago. All of that is stuck on the coast at the moment, causing them a lot of rain already.

204603W5_NL_smHere is where Joaquin is located right now. This is a tracking cone the National Hurricane Center produces as their forecast, and it goes through Tuesday. As of late this afternoon, Joaquin is a Category 4 hurricane, with winds sustained at the center (average wind, not gusts) of 135 miles per hour. This storm has strengthened very quickly! It is giving the Bahamas some horrible conditions right now, but it’s about to make a right turn to the north, as seen in the NHC’s prediction.

The cone is a prediction of the most likely area the hurricane will be through Tuesday afternoon. Right now, it looks like that low off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina might steer this thing far enough out to where there’s a chance it might go out to sea. That would be great news for folks along the east coast, from North Carolina up to Cape Cod! But as this picture indicates, the storm will be close enough to the coast to cause several problems, especially if it’s still a Tropical Storm as it gets near Boston.

There’s reason to believe that Joaquin and the low will merge, and that might help everyone out, causing less rain. The computer models are split between this track and another one taking it toward Bermuda and away from the coast. Should that happen, the low will still be around, but it will help steer the hurricane out of the way. That’s what we need to hope for at this point for our friends on the coast!

Also, keep in mind that the center points of this hurricane are not the only places that will see effects from the storm. Tropical storm force winds always extend quite a bit around the center. The Carolinas are going to get a lot of rain from this. I saw a five day graphic earlier that posted a chance for 20 inches of rain in southwest North Carolina between now and Tuesday. If that happens, flooding will be pretty severe.

As it is, flooding might get pretty bad for us, so keep that in mind this weekend. It’s not necessarily tropical moisture, except on the chance that Joaquin takes a left turn and makes landfall in North Carolina. That would bring lots of rain across the mountains into our area. The hurricane still involves a lot of uncertainty…so don’t believe for a second that the track of the storm will be juts like what happens above. It can and probably will be different, and the forecasts will change each day to reflect that.

For now, make sure you’re ready if you’re in an area prone to flooding. Get to higher ground, likely a friend or relative’s house if you need to and spend the weekend. There’s a chance we could see a month’s worth of rain in the next five days, even on the backside of the mountains (from the storm’s perspective). That will cause flooding in lots of places in and around these mountains.

Tomorrow shouldn’t be all that bad, so if you need to prepare for what’s coming, that would be a good idea! I know a lot of people will be at the race track buying football tickets, but save a little cash and make sure you have a weather radio and some supplies like food, water, and medicine, just in case things get rough with flooding this weekend. I’ll be watching things either from the station or at my house, so I’ll keep updates flowing here. You can also follow me on Twitter (see the right side of the page) for more instant updates and any pictures I find from this mess. And, I’ll have another forecast for the weekend tomorrow afternoon.

October 28 #TriCitiesWx Forecast: A Little…Snow???

It appears that we may be talking about a little snow in this particular forecast, but not much. Two cold fronts are coming, and after the second one is when the snow might just begin for us. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for tonight through Sunday!

Rest assured, any snow that happens won’t be here until Friday night/Saturday morning, and there won’t be much of it. That said, it’s always a shock when that first thought of snow happens in late October. There will be more of that to come this winter, for sure!

The clouds rolled in this afternoon and kept temperatures a bit lower than I’d figured, with our afternoon high at the airport around 76 degrees. We’re not going to see that for a while. The first of the cold fronts will bring more clouds and some scattered showers to our area tonight. Look for temperatures to drop to around 55 degrees by early Wednesday morning.

Tomorrow will start with some rain showers…and maybe some patchy fog in spots. The rain will slowly diminish throughout the day, and stop altogether sometime tomorrow afternoon. From there on, we’ll have a cloudy day with highs around 62. Some of us in the higher elevations may stay in the 50’s. Tomorrow night will be partly cloudy, and behind that cold front will be a blast of cold air as we’ll see temperatures dropping to around 34.

Thursday should be a sunny day, but it won’t be very warm, as we get up to around 58 during the afternoon. On Friday, it will be a sunny start, but clouds by the end of the day, with maybe some scattered showers late in the day. We’ll warm up to 59, with most of the rain happening Friday night.

Speaking of that…once the front passes, there will still be enough moisture for precipitation. Most of us will get rain, but at times that may mix with a little snow Friday night and Saturday morning. If there is any accumulation of snow, it’ll be at the highest mountaintops. Saturday will be our first cold day in a while, as the sky will be partly to mostly cloudy with those rain and/or snow showers happening mainly early in the day. We’ll only warm up to around 45 degrees, with upper 20’s possible Saturday night.

Then on Sunday, the precipitation moves out, but heat won’t return. IT should be a partly sunny day at worst to end the weekend, as we struggle under high pressure to hit 50 degrees.

Thanks for checking here for the forecast, have a great Wednesday!

September 10, 2014 #TriCitiesWx Quick Forecast

Another day has come and gone, and I have another day where there was too much to do and not enough time to do it! So for now, here’s a modified quick forecast for tonight through the weekend!

A cold front is coming, and will bring us varying amounts and intensities of showers and thunderstorms over the course of the next three days, into the weekend. Specifically, the storms that are possible tomorrow afternoon and evening could be pretty strong, with gusty winds and maybe some hail involved. There will be lightning with any storms, so if you’re out watch out for that over through Sunday.

Tonight-Partly cloudy, with perhaps a few sprinkles. Low 67.

Thursday-Partly to mostly cloudy, with showers and storms during the afternoon. High 84.

Thursday night-Cloudy with more storms possible, mainly during the evening. Low 68.

Friday-A mix of clouds and sun, with more scattered showers and storms. High near 80.

The weekend looks good for the most part, as Saturday might have a few showers and storms as we warm up only to around 77. Sunday looks like the better of the two days, as it should be partly to mostly sunny with only a small chance of rain as highs go up to around 78.

Thanks for checking here for the forecast, have a great Thursday!

July 18, 2014 is a double record breaker!

Well, we couldn’t get through my vacation without breaking two records in one day. One of them is a really old record, and the other one requires some explanation!

First of all, at Tri-Cities Airport we broke a record low this morning. The temperature dropped to 52 degrees, beating the record of 53…which was set in 1939! So for 74 years, every July 18th morning has been 53 degrees or above until today. Simply amazing! It’s also worth noting that at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, they broke a record from 1945. It was 59, and the new one set this morning was 57. So for everyone from Knoxville to the Tri-Cities, this was the coldest July 18 morning in recorded history!

Something that isn’t all that well known or easily explained is that there are record lows overnight and record highs during the day, but there are the opposites, too. Every once in a while we’ll break a “record high minimum” or “record low maximum” for the day. That means that the daytime high temperature was lower than recorded history, or the overnight low was higher than recorded history.

All that said, everyone in East Tennessee broke the lowest high temperature in recorded history for July 18. Before today, every July 18 has been 72 degrees or above, since records have been kept. That 72 happened just 5 years ago. Today, the National Weather Service has concluded (and rightfully so) that we’re not going to get warmer today with all the clouds and rain around. That means that at Tri-Cities Airport, we’ve unofficially broken the record low high temperature for the day, at 69 degrees.

As for the rest of East Tennessee, Knoxville hit 71, which is lower than the previous record low high temperature of 73…from 1918!! That record almost made a full century, but it was broken today at a whopping 96 years. The record is the same year for Lovell Field Airport in Chattanooga, so they broke a 96 year old record as well. In fact, they smashed it! Their record previously was 77 degrees, and today in Chattanooga ended up at only 72. It’s fair to say that they shattered an old record down there today.

All of this means a re-writing of the record books, but that’s about it. Records have only been kept since 1937 at Tri-Cities, so it’s entirely possible that there’s been a colder morning in history, but we don’t know about that because regular records weren’t kept before then. Chattanooga’s record keeping started in 1879, while Knoxville’s started in 1871, according to the NWS weather calendars that are issued yearly. All records mentioned here were from official Record Event Reports issued today from the NWS office in Morristown.

My next forecast will be sometime Sunday evening after 5pm. I’ll give you the latest forecast all the way through next week at that point. Have a great weekend!