What a wild ride this weekend…from severe thunderstorms to sleet and freezing rain, from the low 70s Saturday evening to the 20s most of the day Sunday. Nashville actually set a record for largest one-hour temperature drop (from 73 degrees at 11:12pm Saturday, to 42 just after midnight). The temperature dropped a whopping 52 degrees overall — from that high of 73 Saturday evening, to 21 by 3:15pm Sunday. (Thanks to loyal commenter and fellow weather nerd Fred for crunching the numbers!)
If you’re wondering whether that temperature drop sets any kind of national record…no. Not even close, really. Way back in 1911, an exceptionally strong cold front moved through the middle of the country, with remarkable results in Oklahoma — the front lowered temperatures as much as 69 degrees in 18 hours (and 50 to 65 degrees in 2 to 3 hours!). Oklahoma City’s record temperatures on November 11 (max=83, min=17) both are from 1911, as is the record low for November 12 (14 degrees).
The good news is we should see partial clearing later today, but that will allow temperatures to drop back to the upper teens by early Tuesday morning:
More of a warm-up in store Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs in the mid to upper 40s Tuesday, and the low to mid 50s Wednesday. A very slight shower chance heads our way late Wednesday night and early Thursday, but I think most of us will just see clouds overhead, without much actually falling from those clouds.
Christmas weekend is now within range of the extended forecast — I’m confident saying we’ll be in a warmer-than-average and showery weather pattern, but there’s still significant uncertainty regarding the specifics of the holiday weekend’s weather. The most-reliable forecast data points to better rain chances Saturday and Monday, with a break from the best shower chances on Christmas itself (Sunday):
There’s some model data that disagrees with that assessment though, so check back with us throughout the week for revisions to the forecast as things come into better focus.
At this point, I feel very comfortable saying it will NOT be a white Christmas in the Midstate. Before you boo that news, keep in mind — it’s great news for folks who are traveling! Statistically speaking, our odds of a white Christmas are less than 10% in any given year anyway:
If you want a white Christmas, head north — this is the European forecast model’s estimate of snow depth on Christmas morning:
- This essay encapsulates why I’m never happy to see wintry precipitation in the forecast. (The author lives in D.C., but the principle applies here as well)
- The warming trend we experience later this week will likely affect most of the eastern half of the country.
- One way to estimate the power of lightning strikes: study the “petrified lightning” left behind — rocks transformed by a recent lightning strike.
- Halfway down this article, the essay by Mike Nelson (chief meteorologist for a station in Denver) is well worth your time.
- Solar power is rapidly becoming the world’s cheapest source of electricity. We’ll only be able to “burst the carbon bubble” when renewable energy is less expensive than fossil fuel-based energy.
- How does the carbon dioxide we emit move through the atmosphere? A new video from NASA shows the cycle throughout the year.
- In-depth analysis shows that climate change worsened dozens of weather events in the past year.
- How did Popular Science magazine cover the original “Star Wars” when it was released in 1977? By barely mentioning it.