Rain….How Badly Do We Need It?

As the days continue to pass by with no rain, you may be hearing more people talk about how badly we could use some.  Then again, you might not.  It all depends on where you live and who you talk to.

While the deficit continues to climb in Nashville — see below….


….in other parts of Middle Tennessee, we actually have a healthy rainfall surplus!

Take a look at the graphic below.  It shows our entire area, and how it’s faring for rainfall this year.  The colored coded pixels indicate how close any one location is to average for 2016, according to Doppler radar rainfall estimates.  This product was generated on the Rainfall Stats Website.


If you access the site yourself, you won’t find the clearly labeled cities shown above.  I added those to make it easier for you to locate where many of our largest communities are on the map.

The legend on the right-hand side shows that cooler colors represent areas where there’s a surplus of rainfall for the year.  Meanwhile, hotter colors show where there’s a deficit.

With that in mind, notice how southern Kentucky and north-central and northwestern Middle Tennessee are doing A-Okay for rain right now!  Along the I-40 corridor, most spots are dry, but not severely so (except for around Lebanon).  Across southern Middle Tennessee, however, it’s a very different story.  There, a full-fledged significant drought is in progress.  Notice down around Sherwood (southeasternmost Middle Tennessee), the rainfall deficit for the year is between 16 and 20 inches!  That area is experiencing “Extreme” or “Exceptional” drought according to the United States Drought Monitor.

Will these conditions change anytime soon?  No.  In fact, in the near term, drought conditions (where they exist) will worsen.  There is a small rain chance tomorrow night and Thursday, but I expect nothing more than a few light insignificant showers.

Here’s FUTURECAST’s latest rendition of what will happen with that system.

The unusually warm weather won’t help our dry conditions either, since it’ll lower daytime relative humidities, enhancing surface moisture evaporation.  All of this week looks warmer than average.  Next week looks similar.  Check out the latest Week-2 outlook for temperature for the entire country from the Climate Prediction Center:


What we need is a weather pattern change to break the warmth and bring more significant opportunities for rain.  As soon as we see one coming, we’ll be sure to let you know on Channel 4, http://www.wsmv.com, and via social media.

Coming up today on Channel 4 News, beginning at 4pm, we’ll have an update on this near term rain potential.  We’ll also have the latest forecasts for this Thursday night’s Tennessee Titans home football game and for Halloween/Trick-or-Treating.  We hope you join us!


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