Tuesday's snowfall is record-breaking for county
Sabrina Bates, News Editor
Posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 12:02 pm
Tuesday’s snowfall seemed to come as quickly as it went, but what it left behind proved record-breaking for Weakley County and, more specifically, Martin.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Danny Gant, the frozen flurries set a record for the most accumulation of snow in November for the county.
Gant said the agency only records measureable snow, which must be equal to or greater than a half an inch. Tuesday’s early-morning storm dropped two inches of snow onto the ground.
While the snowfall event Tuesday broke the record for accumulation, it did not earn any records for its timing. According to NWS records, Nov. 2, 1951, was the earliest of the season’s report of snowfall accumulation in Weakley County.
Even though it seemed early and significant to some, Gant said there was nothing unusual or out of character for Tuesday’s brief storm.
The system actually tracked north from the south. Gant explained most of the snow-storm systems people see in northwest Tennessee follow that pattern.
“A lot of snow storms we get, the lows track to the south. The low pressure system must track to the south in order for us to receive snowfall,” Gant added.
A “wetter” winter is expected this year, according to Gant. That expectation is based solely on climate predictions and not forecast models that are more accurate determinations, the meteorologist stressed.
With exactly 25 days left until Christmas, those wishing for a white Christmas will have to wait until just days before the holiday to see what the weather has in store for northwest Tennessee. As Gant explained, snow in the Rockies the week of Christmas is not a significant indicator for snow in Tennessee.
“We have to have cold air already in place. The surface low must track to the south of us. The low-pressure system needs to dive down, preferably to Louisiana and Mississippi to present a good chance of snow. If the surface low only dips as far as let’s say, Kentucky, there is a greater chance that we will most likely see rain instead. The rain could possibly changeover to snow if the cold air is already in place,” Gant said.
Although the winter season isn’t official until Dec. 21, colder temperatures this week have forced their way into the region. Beginning today (Thursday), temperatures are expected to climb slightly, according to NWS forecasts.
Temperatures today are predicted to reach 52 degrees and drop to 28 this evening. Friday’s forecast is similar with temperatures climbing to 53 degrees and dropping to 34 Friday night.
Saturday is expected to be even warmer as temperatures are forecastto reach 57 degrees. A 30 percent chance of rain is expected to creep into the region Saturday with a low temperature of 43 degrees forecast.
The chance of rain is forecast to increase to 60 percent Sunday with a high temperature expected near 56 degrees.
Temperatures are then forecast to drop Sunday evening into Monday with a low of 38 degrees expected Sunday evening and reaching only 46 degrees Monday.
The low temperature forecast that evening is 29 degrees. Tuesday’s high temperature is expected to only reach 45 degrees.