February 1: Cooler Start to February, Daily Links


We just wrapped up the 5th-warmest January on record in Nashville — combine that with a slightly-above-average December and it’s been the 14th-warmest December/January since record-keeping began in the 1870s.  If we just experience normal temperatures in February, this will still go into the books as Nashville’s 20th-warmest meteorological winter (Dec-Jan-Feb).  But, we’ve now had 12 straight months of above-average temperatures, and the Climate Prediction Center’s newest outlook calls for a pretty decent chance of an above-normal February in this part of the country:february

Those twelve straight months of above-average temperatures in Nashville ties a record.  Courtesy of loyal commenter and fellow weather-nerd Fred, the most consecutive warmer-than-average months in Nashville:
12: May 1881 – April 1882
12: February 2016 – January 2017 (in progress)
11: May 2007 – March 2008
10: May 1998 – February 1999
9: November 2011 – July 2012

On top of that, out of the last 17 months, starting with September 2015, 16 have been warmer than average.

After near-record highs for the last day of January, we do have cooler temperatures in store to at least start the month of February, with highs reaching the mid 50s in Nashville under increasingly cloudy skies:
A temperature boundary will be in place directly over the Midstate, so it will be substantially cooler in Southern Kentucky, and substantially warmer in southern Middle Tennessee.  The presence of that boundary also means that this is a very touchy temperature forecast — just a little ten-mile wobble could rearrange temperatures drastically.

We’ll see a chance of showers south of I-40 by late this afternoon and this evening — the HRRR model’s radar simulation shows the pattern, and how light the showers will be:

Cooler weather settles in for the rest of the week, with highs in the 40s through Saturday:

I think we’ll stay dry during the day Saturday, before a better chance of rain moves in Saturday night…that will usher in warmer air to start next week:
Another system will give us a decent chance of rain Monday night into Tuesday.  24 hours ago, I was a bit concerned about Tuesday’s severe weather potential — but the latest output from the European forecast model has eased my concerns for the moment.  It’s still the tail end of the extended forecast, so we’ll keep you updated.



About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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1 Response to February 1: Cooler Start to February, Daily Links

  1. Fred says:

    Obviously, today’s celebrity is a large rodent named Phil (with Bill Murray a rather distant second, maybe?) but I’d like to add final comments on the remarkable month that was. We already established it as the warmest January since 1950, it was also the cloudiest January since 1952.
    The cloudiest Januarys in Nashville:
    1. 1949 – 280 (total sky cover value out of maximum possible 310 or 90% overcast)
    2. 1950 – 256 (82.6% overcast)
    3. 1952 – 251 (81%)
    4. 2017 – 250 (80.6%)
    5. 1974 – 249 (80.3%)

    It’s uncertain whether the value for Jan. 1949 is midnight to midnight (as all others are) or sunrise to sunset but it’s a reasonable guess that it is the cloudiest month on record in Nashville. Since 2000 only February 2003 was gloomier than January 2017. It concluded with 15 straight overcast days with 2 more to follow – the longest and densest spell of cloudy weather for our city. With the total sky cover value of 231 (82.5% overcast) February 2003 is the single cloudiest February and the third cloudiest month overall.
    Some diagrams to make the numbers more palatable:

    I limited the data to just midnight and noon, for convenience, but you can look up other times of day also (kudos to Iowa State University of Science and Technology for the awesome set of graphs!).

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