Winter returns Sunday night into Monday

Here’s the latest and greatest concerning our much bally-hooed winter precip chances for Sunday night/Monday morning:

– We will have a frontal passage Saturday night that will start the conveyor belt of colder air into the area.

– Expect a sloppy day Sunday with light to moderate rain.  No frozen precip is expected until Sunday evening.

– As the sun sets, we can expect a transition from all liquid to a frozen precip event, starting to our west and working it’s way east.

– Our neighbors to the north stand the best shot at seeing snow.  NWS Nashville expects 1-2″ for them.

– Along and south of the I-40 corridor, expect more of a “wintry mix”.  There could be periods of freezing rain, sleet, and snow…possibly all three at the same time.  Accumulations will be light, but when ice is the predominant precip type, it doesn’t take much to ruin your evening.

– This appears to be a Winter Weather Advisory-level event, which means the maximum amount of frozen precip will be 1-3″ of snow, < 1/4″ of sleet and < 1/4″ of ice.  That does not mean we’ll see that much.  Those are only *potential* levels of accumulation.

– Areas along the TN/AL border could see nothing but a cold rain.

– Looking ahead, we could see some light snow showers Wednesday behind our next storm system and more snow showers behind another storm system next weekend, but that’s way too far out in Fantasyland to be concerned about.

This is not shaping up to be a debilitating weather event by any stretch of the imagination, but since it’s arriving on Super Bowl Sunday, there’s going to be folks out and about, each and every one of them affected by a slightly different level of sobriety.  If you choose to venture out, just be aware that when you come out of whatever viewing venue you choose, the footing could be a bit slick.

The NWS emphasized that this is a low-confidence forecast.  It could trend warmer and it could very well trend colder, each direction having an effect on who see’s what and how much.  We’ll have another conference call on Sunday, followed by another update right here.  If model data changes drastically, we’ll pass it along. 

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Severe Weather Awareness Day 2014 is coming!

Three years ago, the inaugural Severe Weather Awareness Day was held in Nashville and was a tremendous hit with weather enthusiasts of all ages.  Every year since, the event has gotten bigger and better, and this year’s edition will be no different.  Here’s the list of presenters/presentations that are currently lined up:

From the Main Stage

– There will be both a Basic and Advanced Skywarn Spotter class available.  The Basic course is only a refresher, but the Advanced is a full hour-long class, presented by Tom Johnstone, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) from NWS Nashville.  While the Basic course will only touch on basic spotting techniques and information, the Advanced course will delve further into the science of weather, offering explanations of key severe weather variables such as CAPE and LI (lifted index).  Radar theory and unique differences within storm structure and severe weather potential will also be discussed.

– For the first time ever, we’ll have a presentation from Steve Corfidi, one of the more well-known meteorologists (at least in weather circles) from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK.

– We’ll have a re-analysis of the January 30, 2013 Tornado Outbreak, presented by Sam Shamburger, NWS Nashville meteorologist.

– The local TV media will also be participating, answering questions and discussing the role they play in broadcasting life-saving information to the public during severe weather situations, via a Roundtable Discussion and Q & A session.  Presenters include meteorologists from NWS Nashville and the local media stations.

– The coup de grace of Severe Weather Awareness Day 2014 will be an hour-long discussion of the April 3-4, 1974 Tornado Super Outbreak.  Many of you were old enough to remember it, but those that aren’t quite old enough but have followed weather have heard about this.  The presentation will be given by meteorologists Tim Troutman (NWS Huntsville) and Brittney Coleman (NWS Nashville).

Breakout Session

These sessions will be quite a bit smaller than the main stage presentations, but will still be very informative, and more laid-back.  There’s much more opportunity to interact with the presenters during the breakout sessions than there is at the main stage.  On a personal note, these sessions are my favorite part of Severe Weather Awareness Day…I often have a problem deciding which one(s) to attend.  I’ll have that same problem this year:

– Meteorologist Linda Gilbert (NWS Louisville) will be re-visiting the Super Outbreak of April 27, 2011.

– Trevor Boucher (NWS Nashville), Paul Heggen (WSMV) and Justin Bruce (WKRN) will be presenting “Media/NWS Communications”, a look at how the National Weather Service and local weather media communicate during periods of inclement weather.

– Angela Lese, Science and Operations Officer at NWS Nashville, will be presenting a discussion on Quasi-Linear Convective Systems, or QLCS (otherwise known as the infamous “squall line”).  

– The WKU Storm Team will be on-hand to discuss basic weather experiments and add insight into the cutting-edge science being done in the research world.

– WCM Tom Johnstone will be presenting the “Top 10 Weather Events of 2013 for Middle Tennessee”.

– A look at “Aerial Surveys” will be conducted by the Middle Tennessee Civil Air Patrol Squadron.

– Davis Nolan (WKRN) will be presenting a radar analysis of the 2009 Good Friday Murfreesboro tornado and will revisit the Super Tuesday Outbreak of 2008.

– Meteorologist Sam Shamburger will be presenting “Tornado Damage Path Re-Analysis Using Google Earth”.  I was fortunate enough to see some of this re-analysis during a National Weather Association meeting and I found it fascinating.  Yeah, I’m a geek…

– Bridgestone will be the recipient of the NWS Nashville’s “StormReady” certification.  Accepting will be Bud Hale, Bridgestone Tire Company

– David Drobny, known as @NashSevereWx within the Twitter realm, will be presenting an updated and fresh look at “Social Weather in the Weather Community”.

– Ryan Wade and Todd Murphy from the University of Alabama-Huntsville will be presenting “Storm Mergers and Interactions”.

– Deaf and hard of hearing folks (Bridges) will be on hand and will share their severe weather stories.

– Other groups such as the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management, HAM radio groups, and other disaster preparedness groups will be present to provide you their information directly and answer any questions you may have for them. Its a great chance to meet all of the people you turn to during severe weather and answer your questions.

Severe Weather Awareness Day is family-friendly and fun for all ages.  However, there is a limit of 500 people, so sign up quickly before your spot is taken!  Again, this event will be March 1, 2014 at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Opening remarks begin at 9:00am and presentations last until 5:00pm.  Keep watching the NWS Nashville website (www.weather.gov/ohx) of the NWS Nashville Facebook page for updates.  Contact Trevor Boucher (trevor.boucher@noaa.gov) for more information.

Update on our winter weather event Sunday

Just concluded a conference call with our NWS office concerning the upcoming winter weather event Sunday.  Here’s the highlights:

Updated snowfall amounts:

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– Frontal passage late Saturday will bring rain to the area.  Behind this front will be bitterly cold Arctic air.

– On Sunday, the rain will transition to a sleet mix, then quickly to a snow event.  Changeover will more than likely occur around 12p at the TN River and closer to 6p near the Plateau.

– Our snowfall amounts will generally fall in the 1-3″ range.  Higher amounts near the KY/TN border and lower amounts near the AL/TN border.  The snow will be a powdery type of snow, which means snowballs and snowmen will be hard to fashion.  On the flip side, the powdery stuff will be quick to accumulate.  With the bitterly cold air funneling in, I’m not sure if letting the kids outside to play is a good idea, so snowmen and snowball fights should be fairly low on the “To-Do” list.

– Overall the forecast is trending colder.  Forecast HIGHS for Nashville Monday look to be 10*.  If there is snowcover on the ground, there’s no way that happens.  We could be looking at single digit highs for Monday.  

– Wind chills are going to be just a wee bit chilly… -10 to -15 Monday morning.  In the event school IS in session Monday, please don’t let your children stand outside waiting for the bus.  Do what you have to do to sit with them in the car at the bus stop or take them on to school.

Take the time now to prep your home for the incoming Siberian motherlode: wrap vulnerable pipes in crawl spaces, close foundation vents, disconnect garden hoses, leave faucets dripping.  The only thing worse than having a pipe break is having to either 1) crawl under the house to fix said pipe, or 2) pay someone to fix said pipe.