Exceptionally warm and breezy weather today, with high temperatures in the upper 70s to around 80° and southerly winds gusting to 30 mph:
Today’s record high is 77° set all the way back in 1890, and that record looks likely to fall. If we do hit 80° in Nashville, it will be only the fourth 80°+ reading in the month of February since record-keeping began back in the 1870s. (Thanks to loyal 4WARN commenter and fellow climate nerd Fred for doing the research on that particular bit of trivia!) The all-time February record is 84° set on February 13, 1962…that looks to be safe, but we’ll give it a run!
A good chance of thunderstorms will sweep across the Midstate from west to east this evening and tonight — the HRRR model’s radar simulation shows a few showers ahead of the “main event,” but those won’t be anything more than a nuisance:
Other forecast models show slightly different timing — smoothing out the differences between those models, here’s when you can expect the strongest storms (along with the odds of storms occurring in the first place):
All of the available data shows the greatest severe threat shaping up along and east of I-65 after 8pm, but even with the main line of storms, this isn’t an off-the-charts threat. The Storm Prediction Center’s short-range ensemble model (SREF) crunches the numbers and shows a 30-50% chance of storms with severe weather ingredients this evening, with the highest potential to the north of I-40 and east of I-65:
The SPC has outlined a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5) for severe storms to the northeast of Nashville, with a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) for most of the rest of the Midstate:
The greatest tornado potential will be to our north, in the “Enhanced Risk” area. Damaging straight-line winds will be the main threat in our neck of the woods:
Behind tonight’s storm system, substantially cooler weather will settle in over the weekend. Temperatures will remain in the 40s all day Saturday, dropping below freezing Saturday night, then warming back up to the mid 50s Sunday afternoon:
Better late than never, your daily dose of nerdery…
- On the cold side of our storm system, parts of the Upper Midwest are picking up more than a foot of snow.
- 500 inches and counting: Snow has clobbered California ski resorts this winter. (Click on this for the pictures alone!)
- Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is dealing with some nasty weather as well.
- NASA has released a gallery of very cool cloud photos.
- Can drones be used to pull rain from desert clouds?
- Greenland’s ice sheet is continuing to melt — and not just because of higher temperatures.
- The weirdly warm February weather certainly hasn’t been confined to the Midstate.
- I’ve certainly enjoyed the warm weather this winter, but here’s why you shouldn’t root for an early spring? (Fortunately, what we want has nothing to do with what the weather will actually do.)
- More about Wednesday’s exoplanet announcement: We don’t have the technology to travel there now, but here are the science-fiction propulsion systems that would get us to TRAPPIST-1 fastest. (See if you can spot the math error in that article, by the way.)
- Why aren’t researchers taking advantage of CubeSats? They’re tiny, relatively inexpensive satellites, so you think the scientific community would be all over it.
- Craig Venter mapped the human genome — now he’s trying to decode death.
- Frivolous (but tasty) science: McDonalds’ fancy new straw doesn’t suck, and that’s a problem.
- How to protect your smartphone’s lock screen.
- Politicizing science is nothing new: it happened to Ben Franklin.