April 6: Calmer Weather Ahead, Looking Back at March


Yesterday turned into a pretty busy day — dozens of wind and hail reports, and the National Weather Service will be out in Bedford and Warren counties doing damage assessments to confirm a couple of tornado touchdowns:

Fortunately, no major injuries!  Once again, a HUGE “thanks” to all of you — we received literally hundreds of pictures and videos as the storms moved through.  That’s a big help to us as we’re tracking things on the radar.  Just a reminder for future events, though — please put safety first as you’re taking those pictures or videos.  (I didn’t see any examples of anyone being unsafe yesterday, but it’s worth saying!)

The storms are gone, but lingering rain showers will be with us most of the morning, gradually working their way farther to the east this afternoon.  The HRRR model’s radar simulation shows that trend through this evening:

It will be cool all day, with highs only reaching the mid to upper 50s this afternoon:

It will be breezy all day as well, with gusts around 25mph this afternoon:

That technically doesn’t meet the criteria for a Wind Advisory, but the National Weather Service has decided “better safe than sorry”:

Clearing and chilly tonight, with lows dropping to the upper 30s:

Highs Friday will only top out around 60°:

Lots of sunshine Friday through early next week, with a warming trend kicking in after another cold start Saturday morning.  Patchy frost (even a light freeze!) possible Saturday morning — not just for us, but over a large portion of the eastern United States:

We’ll start off in the mid 30s early Saturday, then warm up to near 70° Saturday afternoon — back to around 80° Sunday and Monday!

Our next storm chance doesn’t move in until Tuesday — at this point, I’m unconcerned about our severe weather potential, but we’ll keep an eye on it just in case.



I took a couple of days off earlier this week, so this is the first chance I’m getting to take a closer look back at the weather data for March as a whole.  We saw just over four inches of rain for the month (4.02″) which is almost exactly normal.  That’s good, but we’re still running a 3-inch rainfall deficit for 2017 to-date:

We got an update from the US Drought Monitor this morning — much of the Midstate is still classified as “abnormally dry” (despite the near-normal rainfall over the last five or six weeks).  No actual drought conditions around here though, which is obviously good.

In terms of temperatures, no surprise — we were well above-normal.  The average temperature was 53.5° in March, 3.5° above-average.  That ranks in the top 30 on record in Nashville (record-keeping goes back to 1875).  Out of the last 19 months, 18 recorded above-normal temperatures.  Over the last year and a half only January 2016 (slightly below-normal) and May 2016 (barely above-normal) were essentially “average.”  August 2015 was the last unequivocally “cool” month observed in Nashville.

February was the 2nd-warmest on record, January was 5th-warmest — add up the numbers, and Jan-Feb-Mar 2017 is the warmest first three months of the year on record in Nashville.  The January through March average temperature was 50.6°, warmest on record by more than 0.5° — doesn’t sound like much, it’s substantial but when you’re talking about a large-ish data set (three months, compared over 140+ years) .

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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