Gorgeous Stretch of Autumn Weather

A long stretch of lovely autumn weather is unfolding before our eyes.  Look at the pretty sky enjoyed by so many of you this morning, over Nashville!


…..in Clarksville,


….and in several other communities throughout the Mid State:

It’s cold enough for frost in spots, especially over eastern Middle Tennessee.  John Oliver, a Channel 4 viewer, took this photo from Belfast, in Marshall County (just outside of Lewisburg).


Across the rest of Middle Tennessee as of 7:31am…


I expect lots of sunshine today, just like yesterday, as a core of high pressure continues to slide by.  High pressure centers are associated with sinking air, so clouds have difficulty forming around them.


That means you’ll want to take your sunglasses to the Titans game if you’ll be spending your afternoon there, at Nissan Stadium.


The high this afternoon will top yesterday’s by 10 whole degrees, in part because of a strong southwesterly wind that will develop as the morning continues.  Winds today will run between 5 and 15 mph.


Pleasant, fall weather will continue for several days to come.  However, we could use a little rain.  While there’s some in the forecast for late Wednesday and/or Thursday, many of us will miss what falls.  The showers will be quite light and sparse in coverage.  The likelihood for wet weather in any one area will be just 20-30%.  SO….the developing drought will continue to intensify.



Coming up in just moments on Channel 4 News Today, at 8am, I’ll share more on our late week rain threat and will talk about what could cause that rain chance to go up.  We hope you tune in!


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Warming On Up!

Our friend, spider man chose the right spot to watch the sunset! Whether he was looking for the batman building or just wanted to help me with the 5 PM show, he sure enjoyed a beautiful day.video-tvi

Skies remain cloud-free and the air feeling crisp. Dew points in the low 30 to low 40-degree range is a very dry place to be.


No need for the air conditioning as temperatures continue to plummet. Overnight lows will drop into the lower 40s for most…with the exception of mid to upper 30s for our eastern counties. Cool enough temperatures combine with calm wind leading to another round of patchy frost for eastern Middle TN into the early morning. Here’s where we sit now (8:38 PM)…


Sunday is another winner! The only difference? Noticeably warmer temperatures. Picture-perfect for those headed out to watch the Titans take on the Colts…


Kickoff is at noon and it will already be in the lower 70s. Leave the rain-gear at home and be sure to grab the sunglasses!


This delightful weather is all thanks to high pressure, which keeps us company for awhile. Sunshine rules on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before increasing clouds and scattered showers arrive with an approaching front on Thursday. Not a wash out by any means and it will have a cooling effect by a few degrees, back in the lower 70s on Thursday through Saturday. Here’s a visual and what I’ll be breaking down on channel 4 at 10 pm.


Be sure to join Dan Thomas for updatestomorrow bright and early at 5 am!

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Sunshine’s Here to Stay….For a While

It’s sunny this morning, but has also been frosty in some areas.  This has been the coldest morning thus far this season!  Here’s the view out the window for some of you today.  We start with what Robyn saw this morning in Fredonia…


Thanks to Starry’s photo in Clarksville, we have a good look at the frost on the roofs there:


Randall in Coopertown made this for us.  COLD!!!


Other camera views look like this…

Temperatures bottomed out in the upper 30s for most areas.  Nashville’s low for the date was 42 degrees, unofficially.  This is where we stand now (as of 9:08am)…


A little more on the cold:  the chilly conditions weren’t just focused over OUR area.  Ocala, FL had a low in the upper 40s.  If you’re not familiar with where that is, it’s just west of Daytona!  That’s COLD for October, there.  Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Columbus, Mississippi both bottomed out in the 30s!  Meanwhile, central and southern Maine had a low in the 60s this morning.  These whacky temperatures are due to a highly amplified jet stream flow (lots of north-south swings)….as opposed to more of a west-to-east pattern.  See what I’m saying?


Expect full sunshine ALL day, which will kick our temperatures up about 20 degrees from where they stand now.  It won’t get too warm today though, just because the air about a mile above the ground is still quite chilly.  SO….as we’re being warmed from below (from the sun heating the ground), the atmosphere will compensate by cooling from above.


Today just might be the finest day for football we’ve had this fall.  Two of the three local games today are homecoming.

The Titans forecast looks equally good tomorrow.  It’ll just be warmer.  In fact, tomorrow will be a solid ten degrees warmer than today for all of us.


Rain is likely late Wednesday into Thursday.  Coming up today on Channel 4 News at 5pm, Daphne DeLoren will have more on that.


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Weekend Weather and Happenings

Ahhhh!  It feels fantastic outside…loving this autumn air! There is more to come for the weekend.  We could get so chilly overnight that we may see a little frost on the pumpkin, not in Nashville, but in the outlying communities.


The low in Nashville will be 41, but there will be some upper 30s especially across the western part of the mid-state where the sky has been clear most of the day. A Frost Advisory has been issued for those areas.


High pressure keeps things dry for several days.  Saturday will be beautiful with highs in the mid 60s.  Sunday will start out chilly again in the mid 40s. But with more of a southern wind it will warm back to the mid 70s by afternoon. Monday and Tuesday will remain partly cloudy in the mid 70s.


There are plenty of ways this weekend to enjoy the great fall weather. Tonight is no exception, put on the jacket and enjoy Friday night football at your local high school.


Tomorrow morning dress up your puppy dog and join me and Lyla for the first Halloween Pooch Parade at beautiful Cheekwood.  The event starts at 10am.  You don’t even have to register, just make sure your dog is up to date on shots. You are encouraged to bring a donation for Nashville Humane. Check out their wish list here.


Also in the morning is the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  It’s a 4 mile walk at Nissan Stadium.  It get underway at 9am.

The weather will be beautiful in Lynchburg for “The Jack”, the annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ Contest. The armor alone is worth the visit.

The Nashville Beer Festival is happening Saturday outdoors & indoors at the beautiful Hall of Fame at the Municipal Auditorium downtown.  It is a benefit for the Phoenix Club that supports disadvantaged youth.

Football weather is here for two big weekend games.  Vanderbilt and TSU get together at the Commodore’s stadium tomorrow at 6:30pm.  You’ll need a jacket for that game. The Titans will take on the Indianapolis Colts at noon with a gametime temperature in the low 70s.  It will warm to the upper 70s by the time the game is over.


Have a great weekend!

I’ll have a weather update on Channel 4 News at 6pm and 6:30pm.

Lisa Spencer

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Tank Tops Away, Warm Jackets Out

Cotton candy cumulus clouds to finish off the week. Almost looks like a cartoon.🙂


We had three days of record breaking heat this week but you wouldn’t know it if you’re just strolling into town. Temperatures are running unseasonably COOL today. It’s 2:25 PM as I write here and temps are running in the mid-50 to low 60-degree range — close to ten degrees cooler than average.


Humidity is also out of our hair. Dew points have significantly dropped, from the upper 60s into the lower 40s. Feels much better.


It’s all thanks to a cold front that pushed through yesterday, currently heading into the Atlantic…


Ready for some good news?

Image result for drum roll

Weekend is looking fan-tastic!

High pressure takes a firm grip across the region, painting clear skies and low humidity. If you’re heading out for TGIF plans these evening, you’ll want to bundle up.


Upper 50s around 7 PM will drop into the lower 50-degree range through around midnight before dipping as low as the lower 40s, overnight.

Temperatures dial up a touch on Saturday, into the upper 60s before unseasonably warm upper 70s return by Sunday. Here’s a peak at what I’ll be breaking down on channel 4 at 4 pm today…


Chief Meteorologist Lisa Spencer will have updates at 5, 6 and 10 tonight.

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October 21: Looking Ahead To Winter, Daily Links


Still some lingering light showers in eastern Middle Tennessee today, but the rest of us will see decreasing clouds by midday and this afternoon.  The HRRR model’s radar simulation is thoroughly unimpressed with our rain chances today:
Temperatures will remain cool all day, with highs only reaching the low 60s, even once the sun emerges:
Breezy throughout the day as well, which is why temperatures will remain so cool, but the wind will relax after sunset this evening.  Skies will be mostly clear overnight, which means conditions will be much better if you want to catch a glimpse of the Orionid meteor shower.

A very pleasant weekend in store for us…chilly in the mornings, especially tomorrow — temperatures will start off in the upper 30s to low 40s:
Maybe even some frost in the very chilliest spots?  It won’t be widespread, but think about covering up the plants or bringing them inside if you live in a spot that tends to be colder than surrounding communities.  We’ll warm up nicely each afternoon this weekend, though — highs Saturday will reach the mid 60s:

Up to the mid 70s Sunday, and high temperatures will stay in the 70s most of next week:
That 20% rain chance Wednesday and Thursday isn’t anything to worry about — the rain will likely miss us to the north, but it’s far enough down the line that I’m hedging my bets for now.



Since the weather is looking calm for the next several days, let’s talk about the upcoming winter.  A word of caution as we start, though — long-range seasonal outlooks are just baaaaaaarely on the “science” side of the dividing line between science and witchcraft.  So take all of this with a grain of salt roughly the size of Nebraska.

Last winter’s weather was affected to a large degree by El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean — the warm water temperatures there helped to re-arrange the overall flow of air around the world.  But El Niño is over, and its counterpart, La Niña, is now taking shape.  That means cooler-than-normal sea-surface temperatures in eastern Pacific Ocean:

The downstream effect of La Niña generally yields these conditions around the country during the winter months:

This year’s La Niña is forecast to be relatively weak — a weak La Niña typically doesn’t yield a strong signal toward either warmer-than-normal or cooler-than-normal temperatures in the Midstate.  I crunched the numbers, and it’s literally 50-50…half of the weak La Niña winters have brought us slightly below-average temperatures, with the other half slightly above-average.  In terms of precipitation, there is a slight signal toward wetter-than-normal conditions for the Midstate…but there are plenty of weak La Niña winters that yielded below-average precipitation as well.  (I’m not going to bore you to tears with the charts and regression analyses for the data — if you’re interested in the specific methodology, drop me and email and I can bore you that way.)  The bottom line is this: in general, the strongest effects of both El Niño and La Niña are felt elsewhere in the country.

The Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for December-January-February (“meteorological winter”) reflects their belief that even a weak La Nina will have a significant impact on weather patterns this winter.  They estimate a slight chance (33%) that temperatures will run slightly above average in the Midstate this winter, with a stronger signal toward warmer-than-normal conditions farther to our southwest:
The precipitation outlook puts us squarely in the “equal chances” region — that is, there isn’t a strong climate signal toward either above-normal or below-normal precipitation:

But the El Niño/La Niña cycle is NOT the only large-scale factor that helps guide the winter weather patterns over North America.  There’s the Pacific/North Atlantic Oscillation (PNA), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) — and they’re all tricky to predict.  Some private forecasters place a greater emphasis on those atmospheric seesaws, which leads them to predict a colder-than-normal winter for the eastern half of the country.  The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang does a nice job of summarizing those forecasts and the uncertainties inherent in such long-range predictions.

Of the private forecasting companies, I’m personally partial to the methodology used by WeatherBell.  Their winter outlook calls for a mild start to winter, followed by slightly below-average temperatures after the first of the year.  They also estimate near-average snowfall for this part of the country.  (Scroll down to the bottom of the linked article for the “bottom line” summary of the forecast.)

Keep in mind, we’re talking about long-term forecasts of long-term temperatures and precipitation, which tend to obscure the day-to-day details.  For instance, we could have near-average temperatures most of the winter, with just one good cold snap to skew the numbers downward…or wild up-and-down swings in temperatures that even to out to near-average once the data is smoothed out.  The same goes for precipitation/snowfall — last year was snowier than average, even though we just had one significant snow storm.

As with all long-range forecasts, it’s easier to just sum things up in GIF form:



Still more nerdiness!

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October 20: Strong Storms, Cooler Weather, Daily Links


After three straight days of record high temperatures, the heat wave comes to an end with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms today.  We can expect scattered showers this morning with a few non-severe rumbles of thunder, then a break around midday, as the RPM model’s radar/satellite simulation shows:
rpm-9a-thu rpm-11a-thu rpm-1p-thu
During that break, temperatures will warm up to the mid to upper 70s…maybe even 80 degrees if enough sunshine peeks through the clouds:
The warmer we get, the more the atmosphere will “re-charge” for a better chance of strong to marginally-severe storms this afternoon.  The same forecast model shows the storms firing up in western Middle Tennessee this afternoon, moving toward Metro Nashville around rush hour, then into eastern Middle Tennessee around and just after sunset:
rpm-3p-thu rpm-5p-thu rpm-7p-thu rpm-9p-thu
The HRRR model is in pretty good agreement with that scenario:
It’s never a good idea to put too much faith in one or two specific models, though — averaging out the various models (along with analysis of how these types of storms usually behave) leads us to this estimate of when the strongest storms will affect different parts of the Midstate:
The strongest storms will be capable of producing gusty straight-line winds and hail, but the overall severe weather setup isn’t impressive with this system — a decent amount of instability and wind energy, but those factors aren’t likely to come together perfectly to really enhance the severe potential.  The Storm Prediction Center’s short-range ensemble model (SREF) is a “superblend” of various forecast models, and it estimates a 20-30% chance of thunderstorms with severe characteristics north of I-40 this afternoon, with decreasing chances farther south:
The SPC’s official outlook calls for a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) of severe thunderstorms:
Overall, expect numerous thunderstorms to develop this afternoon, but only a few of those will strengthen enough to prompt severe thunderstorm warnings.  To sum everything up:

Lingering showers tonight will give way to decreasing clouds on Friday, with breezy conditions and highs only in the low to mid 60s:
Dry and pleasant this weekend — highs in the mid to upper 60s Saturday, in the low to mid 70s Sunday.  Overnight lows will feel a little chilly, but that’s normal for this time of year!



  • Wind damage, landslides, storm surge, and flooding rains: the Philippines are dealing with the aftermath of yet another major typhoon.
  • The US National Hurricane Center flies “hurricane hunter” aircraft into tropical systems in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific, but storms farther out the Pacific have primarily been studied with satellites.  Now Japan is going to start flying research aircraft into typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean.
  • A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the stirring effect that Hurricane Matthew had on the ocean — the violent waves and water movement allowing cooler water to “upwell” from below the surface.  You can actually see that effect in the path that Hurricane Nicole followed, using NASA’s ocean temperature measurements.
  • Most climate projections talk about “the next 50 years” or “the next century” in terms of potential effects.  But should we think about climate change and sea level rise in truer and longer time frames?
  • The European Space Agency’s attempt to land a probe on the surface of Mars didn’t work out as planned.
  • Elon Musk’s idea of a self-sustaining colony on Mars needs more work.
  • Uranus might have a couple of moons that astronomers haven’t even noticed so far.
  • Forecast on Pluto: 99% clear, with a 1% chance of clouds.
  • Meanwhile, in the outer solar system: very large trans-Neptunian object (that mean’s it WAY out there) “2007 OR10” has a moon!
  • Astronomers are getting a better look at one of the most-violent star systems in the galaxy.
  • This sounds both hard to believe and very frightening: China’s future submarine could travel the speed of sound.
  • 25 medical myths that just won’t go away.
  • Most communities do occasional “drug take-back” programs, but a lot of people are just dumping old prescription medications down the drain.  That’s causes some big problems.
  • Well, this is terrifying: how a ghost pepper led to a torn esophagus.
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