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Storms from Seven Years Ago

April 27, 2018 Comments off

I know I haven’t been around a lot with forecasts recently, and I’m working to get back to my former daily forecast blogging self. I have a lot of things to work through to get there, but regardless, if we have severe weather on the way, you can hear me in the Tri-Cities on 96.3 FM, 91.5 FM, and 97.3 FM with any tornado warnings that might happen.

The point of this post is exactly that, covering tornado warnings. I try to blog my story about the 2011 tornado outbreak that started on April 27. What follows is what I wrote in 2013 about that, and includes the link to my story that was written late in 2011. Feel free to check out the “As Big As the Sky” series, which comes out of those events as well.

April 27, 2011. The worst tornado outbreak in this country in my lifetime. Maybe ever. So much damage and loss of life from Mississippi and Alabama across a lot of Tennessee and a lot of the Eastern third of the country.

As I did last year, I’m posting a link to my story from that day and night two years ago. You can read it here.

During my college years, I always had awful feelings when the latter part of June came around because I lost two friends of mine in car wrecks on the exact same day two straight years. Nowadays, I get those same feelings coming up to the 27th of April. There were so many problems and failures that night…I’m thankful to know that I’ve taken steps to fix a lot of those issues, just in case another outbreak like that happens again. I’ll be ready next time!

Whether you’re a fellow weather professional or someone who just clicked the link from Twitter or Facebook, I’d love to know your story from that day. Click “Leave a Comment” and let me know what you experienced.

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Categories: Weather Info

April 27, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Forecast

April 27, 2017 Comments off

Clouds and rain have moved through, but not all of us saw rain hit the ground today. We’ll see things get very warm tomorrow and into the weekend with summer-like conditions! Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for tonight through Monday!

This will be a short one, but you’ve got homework to do after the outlook. Here goes:

  • Tonight-Rain ending, partly cloudy late with patchy morning fog. Low 54.
  • Friday-Partly cloudy to mostly sunny and warm. High 86.
  • Friday night-Partly cloudy. Low 59.
  • Saturday-Mostly sunny with a slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. High 90.
  • Sunday-Increasing clouds, a few showers and storms possible late. High 85.
  • Monday-Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 75.

Basically, after tonight we’re done with organized rainfall until Sunday night and Monday. There will be a few pop-up storms like summer during the heat of the day Saturday. A cold front brings our rain chances late Sunday and much of Monday.

Homework: This is the 6th anniversary of the terrible tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011. It’s a day and night I’ll never forget. Read about that here.

Then, especially when there’s nice weather, read the Severe Weather Safety Rules page. Use that page to get yourself, family and co-workers ready for when tornadoes strike again, or for any type of severe weather. Take a look at the page for alerts to learn how you can get warning information. Make a plan to keep yourself and others safe.

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is my pink wristband story. There’s a book review in there, and my story of things that happened after I read the book. Something else I’ll never forget about that day.

Keep in mind when reading these stories that they’re multi-part stories. There should be a link at the bottom to go to the next one. If not, as far as the “As Big As the Sky” series, go to Weather Info and you’ll find it in a tab there.

I hope that gives you a glimpse of why I always wear 4/27/11 things practically daily. It reminds me of why I do the forecast every day, during calm weather or storms. My goal is to help people, and it’s something I remember every day when I sit down at this desk to make a forecast.

Even if it’s just whether it’s going to rain or not, a forecast helps people plan their day, and that’s what I want to do. Help people. My friend Shelby Hays from KOCO TV in Oklahoma says it well in her blog. I feel the same way.

So there’s your reading assignment! There’s no test or anything, but you’ll do something important in the process of reading these things. You’ll know what to do wherever you are in the event of severe weather of any kind. Hopefully along the way you’ll learn a little about me, too, and do your own bit to help others. We all definitely need to do more of that!

April 23, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast V

April 23, 2017 Comments off

Rain, rain, and more rain. We’re close to a nearly 50 year old record for the most recorded rain in history for April 23. That’s awful timing with NASCAR in town, but they’ll try it again tomorrow and should have more luck! Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for this week!

First of all, there’s a flood warning for most of us through early tomorrow morning. We’re all also under a flood watch until 2pm tomorrow. In fact, the NWS just continued a flood warning for the North Fork of the Holston River (near Gate City) until 10:30 tomorrow. With all the rain we’re getting, that should be no surprise. Be VERY careful if you encounter flooding tonight and tomorrow!

Normally, I do this Sunday forecast outlook-only with a short explainer. This won’t be the case today with the flooding issues and the race happening tomorrow. I always do start out with the quick forecast, and here that is:

  • Tonight-Rain is likely, flooding possible in spots. Low 48.
  • Monday-A few morning rain showers during a cloudy day. High 65.
  • Monday night-Partly to mostly cloudy, a few mountain rain showers. Low 50.
  • Tuesday-Partly sunny, except more clouds/sprinkles in the mountains. High 74.
  • Wednesday-Mostly sunny. High 82.
  • Thursday-Increasing clouds, showers and storms possible late. High 81.
  • Friday-Partly cloudy, a few rain showers early. Highs near 80.

It appears that the rainfall record for today has in fact fallen. In 1968 there was 1.32″ of rain, which is the most rain in recorded history for the Tri-Cities Airport. We’re at 1.52″ now, so I’m sure the record breaker alerts will be issued once we hit midnight.

That said, low pressure is in Georgia right now, and it will head toward the South Carolina coast tomorrow and then proceed up the coast away from us. As it does that, our chances of rain will drop considerably. Heavy rain is possible for sure tonight, and perhaps early tomorrow. From there, rain gets more scattered and eventually will go away.

That being said, in the North Carolina mountains another round of rain will move through as the Low moves up the coast. That could bring a little more rain there, potentially into early Tuesday.

As far as NASCAR is concerned, they’re going to get the race in tomorrow. Sure, there might be delays, but the speedway has lights, so they’ll run it in prime time if they have to. The forecast looks better and better as the day goes on, but a few more rain showers aren’t out of the question.

After that, we’ll see sunshine here in the Tri-Cities for most of a couple days, possibly into a third. Once that low is gone, our next chances of rain don’t arrive until late on Thursday. As it looks right now, rain with this system is most likely Thursday night.

If you’re still in town for the race, thanks for staying! You might have to battle a little rain tomorrow, but I’m fairly certain they’ll get at least half of the 500 laps in tomorrow, and honestly the whole thing should get in unless NASCAR gets tired of trying. They hit that point very early today, but it won’t be that way tomorrow so they can get the tour to the next stop.

Thanks for looking here for the forecast, have a great Monday!

Categories: Daily Forecast, Race Week

April 21, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast IV

April 21, 2017 Comments off

The fourth forecast for race week and the weekend is about the same as the previous ones. Rain is likely for much of the weekend, and it may stretch NASCAR action to Monday. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast through Tuesday!

Yes, I know that’s a gloomy outlook, but several entities are printing out 3 inches of rain and up to 4 inches for parts of the Tri-Cities area through Tuesday. Granted, all many of us will focus on weather-wise is the race track, and that’s fine. There are baseball games to be played, and I’m sure the Tribe Classic has had some issues already.

Here’s the outlook for the weekend and early next week:

  • Tonight-Scattered showers likely, with possible thunderstorms. Low 58.
  • Saturday-Mostly cloudy, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 73.
  • Saturday night-Rain likely with thunderstorms. Low 55.
  • Sunday-Cloudy with rain and thunderstorms. High 64.
  • Monday-A few morning showers, then becoming mostly sunny. High 72.
  • Tuesday-Mostly sunny. High 75.

What we’ve seen today so far is a lot like we’ll see the weather all weekend long. Look for periods of rain showers with occasional thunderstorms tonight through Sunday. Rain could be heavy at times, but the worst of the really heavy rain looks to be Saturday night and early Sunday before any racing is scheduled to begin.

Be prepared for anything this weekend. Strong to severe storms are possible, and gusty winds will cause damage to tents and things of that nature around the track. There could be small hail involved, too. The main thing I’m concerned about is flooding. The track is right next to Beaver Creek, and if there’s enough rain it could spill over its banks and cause issues for anyone camping or selling things out that way, especially along Volunteer Parkway.

Yesterday I said that it was most likely that the Saturday race would stand a chance of getting moved to Monday. I’m not so sure the race on Sunday gets in at this point. The good news, though, is that with lights they can pretty much wait it out for a lot longer than at tracks without lights. Hopefully I’m wrong, but it still looks to me that at least one of the three races this weekend won’t be run on its allotted day, or at least will be run at night.

Normally on Friday, I’ll include Monday and Tuesday in the forecast because I usually go out four to five days. This time, Monday is helpful because there may be racing on Monday. Typically, when any race is moved, it starts at 11am the following day, or the next possible day. If that happens to any of the three races, they may have trouble getting started that early, but the racing will get in throughout the afternoon. There is almost zero chance this lasts all the way to Tuesday.

I mentioned baseball, the Tribe Classic that is scheduled to finish tomorrow. It appears all the games were played yesterday, but games are starting to get postponed, slowly but surely. I know Sullivan South vs. Gate City won’t be played tomorrow at Hunter Wright Stadium, but I’m not sure about much else at this point. I can imagine that the only place where they’ll play tomorrow is at J-Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport where they have artificial turf and the water runs off nicely.

There’s the report for today. Since official racing starts tomorrow, I’ll bring updates on Twitter as frequently as needed throughout the weekend. Check the right side of the blog for that link. I’ll also try to give a weather blog update sometime early tomorrow with regard to the weather situation specific for Saturday.

Categories: Daily Forecast, Race Week

April 20, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast III

April 20, 2017 Comments off

When you’re holding an outdoor event, rain is not a good thing. When it’s a baseball tournament, that’s really bad. When a national touring auto racing series stops by, it’s VERY bad. That’s unfortunately what we’ve got ahead of us the next few days, but it won’t rain all day all three days, either.

Welcome race fans to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog! If you’re from out of town, bookmark this site and every time you come to Bristol, you’ll have the latest Bristol forecast. If you’re from around here, then you already need to check back every day, right? Right!

All that said, let’s get to the outlook, where rain is plentiful:

  • Tonight-Partly to mostly cloudy, with a few scattered showers. Low 58.
  • Friday-Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 78.
  • Friday night-Rain likely, with possible thunderstorms. Low 57.
  • Saturday-Partly to mostly cloudy, with scattered showers and storms. High 74.
  • Sunday-Cloudy with scattered showers and storms. High 68.
  • Monday-Partly to mostly sunny. High 72.

Let’s unpack one thing first, the meaning of “scattered.” I start with what it does NOT mean, and that’s “all day.” We’re not going to see rain all day long any day of the next three. There will be gaps in the rain, and when they are will determine when we can dry the track and when racing can happen.

As for baseball, that’s a different matter altogether, and it depends completely on the field on which the games will be played. Some of those games might be postponed early, so make sure you’re in the know with the correct contact person if games are postponed or (more likely) cancelled altogether.

That said, Friday night into Saturday morning and Saturday night into Sunday morning present the best chances for widespread rain. The Weather Prediction Center (a NOAA organization) shows a possibility of 3 inches of rain or more around here through Sunday. But if most of that happens at night, life won’t be so bad at the track or at baseball games.

Daytime hours over the next three days will alternate between rain and dry, rain and dry conditions for sure. Batches of rain will come in, and then they will leave, just as simply as that.

As for racing chances, I think most of Sunday’s race gets in. They can run at night, so that will make things easier as Sunday should get more dry as time wears on. Saturday’s races, though, might end up getting moved to Monday. That’s the most likely day of the three to see enough rain to keep cars off the track for longer amounts of time.

The baseball games I’m referring to are part of the Tribe Classic, played Kingsport, Gray, Bristol, and Johnson City. Games played at J-Fred Johnson Stadium are likely to get played as soon as the rain stops thanks to artificial turf. Hunter Wright is a natural grass stadium, so is Tod Houston Field in Bristol, so rain there may cause issues. As for Daniel Boone and Cardinal Park, I’m not sure how rain will change the schedule. Be aware through your team’s officials and staff as to what games get played and what do not on Friday and Saturday.

Those of us who like rain will enjoy this, but be aware that if we do get 3 inches of rain in the next three days, flooding might be a threat, specifically in low lying areas all across the area. That includes Beaver Creek, which is right next to the race track. Keep that in mind if you’re camping out there or just going to have a look at the shops during some down time.

It’s not as gloomy of a forecast as it looks, but timing is a big challenge. I’ll have more on the forecast pretty early tomorrow afternoon in advance of the weekend, with a special forecast coming on Saturday.

Categories: Daily Forecast, Race Week
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