Weather Song: Miss Piggy Slams the Door

Thursday on WHCB, I played a weather song during Bible Buddies, our 3-5pm kids show. A few months back, a listener requested the song, as it has…well…Miss Piggy from the Muppets slamming the door (on Elvis) at the end.

The official name of that song is “The Air We Breathe,” and it’s one of the songs by The Weather Dude, also known as The Weather Channel’s Nick Walker. I’ve featured a couple of his songs here before, probably this one at one time or the other. But I’ll give it a fresh look here.

In the song, Nick and his friends sing about what they do when air quality is bad. That normally happens when pollution from cars and factories doesn’t get transported and dispersed by wind once they’re let out into the air. That makes it difficult for people with problems with their lungs (like asthma, something I have) to breathe. If the air gets bad enough, it’ll make it difficult for anyone to be outside.

Around the Tri-Cities, that happens normally in the summer. We don’t get cold fronts that accomplish much in the summer, and a lot of times it’s sunny and hot all the time. Thunderstorms do help this, but rarely are storms too widespread in the summer. That means the levels of pollutants in the atmosphere will go up to the point that it’s hard to breathe. At that point you will hear from me that there’s an air quality alert. That happened at least three or four times last year, in fact.

When that happens, the best thing usually to do is to not use cars or lawn mowers too much if you can help it, and generally stay inside. That will help you breathe better thanks to all the filters in your home. The Air Quality Index for the Tri-Cities can be found at the website. That is a good one to keep bookmarked and check often, especially in the summer!

Be sure to visit Nick Walker’s website for more about his music and how you can get your own copy if you want to. He has a specific page for each of his songs, too, and here’s the one about “The Air We Breathe.” You can find lots more info on air quality there, and even some links for games to play just for kids!

New Year’s Day Weather Song: Blizzards!

No, there aren’t any blizzards imminent for the Tri-Cities, but I did get the chance to play a Nick Walker song about one during the kids show!

Officially speaking, a blizzard is a severe snowstorm that has a sustained wind or frequent gusts over 35 miles per hour and considerable falling or blowing snow for more than three hours.

The last two blizzards I recall around the Tri-Cities were in 1993 and 1996. I remember at least a foot of snow for each of those events, with power outages for a long, long time for many people. Many times, snowstorms are so intense there is even thunder and lightning. That’s thundersnow. I’m fairly certain I remember hearing that during one of the events in the 90’s.

The only video I can find of either of those events is from Alabama. My friend James Spann worked that event at channel 6 in Birmingham way back then, and here is the first part of the footage from that event. Note that while most folks got a lot of snow, there was a massive severe weather outbreak from the warm part of the storm as well.

It is always wise to make sure you know what’s going on with the weather. Many times forecasters like me are able to figure out that something like this is coming a few days in advance. Even if it’s not technically a blizzard, if forecasters are talking about a lot of snow and gusty winds, the best plan of action (as said in the song…remember it?) is to stay inside. It’s easy to get disoriented while walking outside even in a short distance when heavy snow is occurring.

That won’t be happening within the next week or so, at least that’s how it looks right now. Check out Nick’s activity page for the blizzard song.  That will give you more information, and at the top of the page you can even get the lyrics, and how to get a copy of the “Don’t Get Scared, Just Get Prepared” CD that we play on the air!

All year long, you’ll be able to depend on the Tri-Cities Weather Blog along with the stations’ and my Twitter and Facebook pages to keep you updated on all types of severe weather! Look to the right side of the page for the links to all of those different sites. As always, if you have any questions about the weather, click Contact on the top right of the page and fill out the form. Your message will come right to me!

Weather Song: In Your Kit

Tuesday during the WHCB Kids’ Show Bible Buddies, I played a song from Nick Walker, aka The Weather Dude. We’ve been playing songs occasionally from his “Don’t Get Scared Just Get Prepared” CD for the past couple years.

Tuesday’s song was “In Your Kit,” where Nick and the kids talk about making an emergency kit to keep in your house in case something bad happens. It’s very important to do that so you can be as clean and healthy as possible in the event of severe weather or heavy snow knocking out power, or even worse than that!

There are lots of things that should be kept in an emergency kit, like a first aid kit, batteries, flashlights, blankets, food for pets and people, stuff to stay clean, and important papers as well.

In terms of severe weather preparedness, it’s good to keep helmets close by as well if there are any tornado warnings. Click Severe Weather Safety Rules  for more on where to go and what to do when there are severe weather warnings.

Here’s Nick’s page for the song, where you can get an exhaustive list of all the different things to put in an emergency kit. This isn’t really totally for kids, as everyone should have one! And at this time of year, getting parts of that together might be a good Christmas present, too!

September 20 Forecast: Cold front’s a-comin’

Thankfully there won’t be anything coming as bad as the Porter Wagoner song “Big Wind” from 1969. That said, we do have a cold front on it’s way, and that could bring us a rather wet time from Friday night through most of Saturday. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for tonight through Sunday!

As of 6pm, a few rain showers exist along the Kentucky/Virginia border heading into the area, and there’s one near Wytheville on its way out. These rain showers are not very heavy at all, and might not even do enough to get the roads wet this evening. Other than that little bit of rain, tonight should be partly to mostly cloudy, and lows will drop to around 62 degrees.

Friday will be cloudy–anything from partly to mostly–with a few afternoon showers during the afternoon. Highs will get up to around 83 degrees. The cold front will get close enough to bring scattered showers and possible storms tomorrow night, so keep that in mind if you’re heading out for high school football or possibly Rhythm and Roots activities in downtown Bristol. I think the majority of the heavier rainfall will happen after 9pm. I’ll try to have one final update about the timing of any rainfall sometime tomorrow afternoon. Lows tomorrow night should drop to around 64 degrees.

That cold front finally gets through here on Saturday, so look for a cloudy and dreary day with scattered showers and storms likely during the day. We’ll have highs around 75.

Specifically, the cold front gets through here Saturday night, so that will make Sunday a dry day from 10am on. Look for partly to mostly cloudy skies after that, with highs Sunday afternoon around 72.

Thanks for checking here for the forecast! I’ll be watching the next few model runs to see what our atmosphere might be up to as far as tomorrow night and the weekend are concerned. We’ll see rain for sure, and a little thunder from time to time. More coming up tomorrow, have a great Friday!

I am no stranger to the rain

Remember that classic from Keith Whitley?

I’m no stranger to the rain
I’m a friend of thunder
Friend, is it any wonder lightning strikes me
But I’ll put this cloud behind me
That’s how the Man designed me
To ride the wind and dance in hurricanes
I’m no stranger to the rain

What a fantastic song! In fact, I think I’ll sneak into the Top Gun Radio Studio and play it sometime after Cody Ray gets out of there tonight!

We’ll all be well familiar with rain after tomorrow night. There is a lot of rain to our south moving north, and then a cold front will come in from the west and scoop it all out of here. It won’t be that simple, as the scooping process won’t be completed until early Wednesday morning.

As I type this at just before 5pm, Flood Watches are up for Lee and Wise Counties in Southwest Virginia, and Flash Flood Watches are up for Smyth, Grayson, and Tazewell Counties. Northeast Tennessee isn’t involved in any of that just yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if watches come out before this front gets out of here.

Tonight will see rain showers throughout the night for the most part, with breaks from time to time. Some of the rain could be heavy at times, as has already been seen today. Lows won’t drop much because of all the clouds, only to around 67 degrees.

All in all, we won’t have much temperature variation until the front moves through. Look for more rain showers tomorrow, with the possibility of some thunder from time to time as well. Again, some of the rain could be heavy at times. Highs will only get up to around 70, and we might be lucky to see that! As the cold front passes tomorrow night, the rain will come to an end. It’ll be partly cloudy by daylight on Wednesday morning, with lows dropping to near 52.

Wednesday will be a sunny day once we get some pesky clouds out of here during the morning hours. Highs will get up to around 68. If we get rid of the clouds and get clear skies Wednesday night, we may wake up temperatures below 40 in spots! The freezing point is very likely in the mountains.

Aside from that cool (okay, cold for this time of year) start, the sun will be back out on Thursday for the better part of the day. Another front is approaching, so some clouds may move in late. Highs will get up to 75 degrees.

That front is very weak, so we should only expect maybe a few clouds heading into the weekend, with temperatures hanging around the low to mid 70’s.

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