March 1: Rain Ends, Sun Returns

I guess we can say March came in like a lion with flooding rain. February no doubt ended on a wet note, setting a record for the 3rd rainiest February in Nashville weather history, 10.91″ of rain. That was just shy of the 2nd wettest with 10.95″ way back in the 1800s.

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The rain is gone, but the water is not.  Much of it is flowing into creeks and rivers. River flood warnings remain in effect for the following rivers:

Duck River at Shelbyville, Columbia and Centerville

Buffalo above Flat Woods and near Lobelville

Shoal Creek near Iron Town

Richland Creek above Pulaski

Cumberland River at Dover

Elk River at Prospect

Tennessee River at Clifton

These will all continue to rise for the next day or for some longer.

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Tonight the sky will clear west to east. That along with a north wind will help the temperatures to fall to the 30s by morning.

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But the sun will be back. Friday through the weekend will be bright and cool initially. Saturday and Sunday mornings will be frosty with a light freeze in some areas, too. Milder weather is expected Sunday afternoon. Wow what a weekend!

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The next front does bring showers for Monday of next week and they will linger into Tuesday.

I’ll have an update on News 4 at 10pm.

Lisa Spencer

 

About Lisa Spencer

Lisa Spencer is the chief meteorologist at WSMV Channel 4 Nashville. You can catch her weathercasts weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm and 10pm.
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4 Responses to March 1: Rain Ends, Sun Returns

  1. Fred says:

    A February for the record books, for sure. Here’re a few more facts about the extraordinary month now complete. It was 6th-warmest February, averaging 50.1 degrees, almost 8.5 degrees above normal. The really astonishing thing is that the first 12 days were about a degree lower than average, however, from Valentine’s until the end of the month, the average exceeded the norm by over 16 whopping degrees! February, basically, consisted of two different seasons. It is interesting to note, that February 2017 was tied for the second-warmest. The enormous difference between the two exceptionally mild months was, of course, in the amounts of precipitation. Curiously, February 2017 was the driest since 1980, while its successor in 2018 is the wettest since 1890. Yes, that’s sooo Nashville! http://www.smiley.com/sites/default/files/image/cover/Winky_0.png 10.91″ marks the wettest month since May 2010, aka “Month of The Flood”, when 16.43″ fell. 19 days of measurable precipitation (and there were also 3 days of trace precipitation) ties the record most for February with 1956, but wins the tie-break, since that month had 29 days. This is the most days of measurable precipitation since May of 2006, which had 20. For comparison, January had 8 such days and December just 7. For the first time we had back-to-back Februaries that reached 80 deg. or better, another “first” is that they were, also, entirely snowless, with not even a trace of snowfall. Snowfall records for Nashville go back to 1884-85 season. Another rainfall/precipitation record that fell, is the number of hours with measurable amounts. Take a look at this chart:

    Until the 28th, the February record for the last 70 years was 108, measured in 2003. This means, that over the last 7+ decades, only in January 1950 it rained longer. Even if these numbers are, likely, approximate, the record itself is quite impressive. Additionally, the past month was extremely cloudy. It was the cloudiest month since the dreary February 2003.

    Cloudiest Februaries 2000 – (sunrise -to-sunset)

    1. 2003 – 231
    2. 2018 – 221
    3. 2001 – 211

    An honorable mention goes to February 2008, with the cloud cover of 216, however, that total reflects the aggregate of 29 days. A better representation of overall cloudiness (midnight-to-midnight) is provided by the following graph:

    At 41.9 degrees, the meteorological winter season ( December-February) 2017-18, is tied for the 51st-warmest with 2006-07. Since 1977-78, when Nashville had its coldest-ever and amazingly consistent winter, only one winter season, 2009-10, had every month colder than average, and another one, 2002-03 came very close (December was considered, at the time, exactly normal). It does seem, with every passing year, that old-fashioned cold, snowy winters are becoming a relic of the past. This nostalgic note seems an appropriate moment to wrap up this extensive review.

    • Lisa Spencer says:

      Thank you for the great information. It was a very unusual February. Interesting fun facts.

  2. Fred says:

    Doesn’t look like my previous comment went through, so, hopefully, this one does. The extraordinary month of February deserves an extended review. At 50.1 degrees, almost 8.5 degrees above average, it was 6th-warmest month of its name. The really astonishing thing, though, was that the first 12 days were, actually, about a degree lower than normal, however, the excess of temperature from Valentine’s until the end of the month was over 16 (!) whopping degrees. Thus, February was divided into almost two equal halves that were, basically different seasons. Its predecessor last year, on the other hand, though warmer still, featured unseasonably mild temps pretty much for the entire duration. An even more obvious difference between the two was, of course, in the amounts of precipitation. Curiously, and rather typically of Nashville’s capricious weather, February 2017 was the driest since 1980, while its successor is the wettest since 1890. 10.91″ of rain marks the wettest month since May 2010, aka “Month of the Flood” when 16.43 inches fell. 19 days of measurable precipitation (there were also 3 days with trace amounts) tied the record for February, set in 1956, but wins the tiebreak, since that was a leap year. This is the most days of measurable rainfall since May 2006, which had 20. In addition to the first ever back-to-back Februaries that hit 80 or higher, they were entirely devoid of snowfall, also a “first”. Snowfall records date back to 1884-85 season, temperature records for February extend 10 years further, so both distinctions are definitely remarkable. Another rainfall/precipitation record that fell, was the number of hours with measurable amounts. Up to, and including, the penultimate day, the record-holder for February was 2003, with 108 hours. Take a look at the chart below, we have the new champ in that category, viz.:

    This chart illustrates that, at least, for the last 70 years, only during the extremely wet, mild and gloomy January 1950 it rained longer. Even if the numbers are, likely, approximate, the fact itself is quite impressive. Speaking of gloomy, February, certainly, fit the bill, as it was a very cloudy month with overcast conditions being the dominant category. It was the cloudiest month since the dreary February 2003 and, similar to that year, a very wet and cloudy February followed an uncharacteristically dry and clearer January.

    Cloudiest Februaries 2000 –

    1. 2003 – 231 (83% coverage sunrise-to-sunset, most likely, the all-time record in its category)

    2. 2018 – 221 (79%)

    3. 2001 – 211 (75%)

    An honorable mention should go to February 2008, with 216, in which case the figure reflects the total of 29 days. A better visualization of overall cloud cover (midnight-to-midnight) is afforded by the graph below:

    As regards December-February meteorological winter season, of the 144 seasons on file, winter 2017-18 is tied for 45th warmest, alongside 1990-91 and 1953-54. It’s interesting to note that since 1977-78, when Nashville had its coldest and amazingly consistent winter, only once, in 2009-10, every month was colder than average, and 2002-03 came very close, as December was considered exactly normal. It does seem, with every passing year, that “old-fashioned” cold and snowy winters are becoming a relic of the past and it feels appropriate to conclude the summary on this somewhat nostalgic note.

  3. Fred says:

    I’m honored, as always, by your evaluation of my efforts. There was an apparent glitch in the software, because the chart depicting number of hrs. of measurable precipitation was replaced by the sky-cover graph. Here’s what was originally entered and intended.

    PS. Since the above post appeared after some delay, I re-submitted it yesterday, albeit, slightly rewritten. Just saying, in case it resurfaces.

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