Tuesday, March 3, 2015

God Or Mother Nature Or Something Is Really Hating On Tennessee and Kentucky

A huge area of the country is under winter weather advisories
and warnings (the red, blue and pink) That huge
area of gray near the Gulf of Mexico is
fog advisories, testament to the huge amounts
of moisture available for heavy rain, snow
and ice the next couple of days.  
New England stole the spotlight for extreme winter weather over the past five weeks or so, but a sleeper epicenter of really bad winter weather has snuck up on us.

Since mid-February and continuing on through this week, Tennessee, Kentucky and some surrounding states have been getting totally hammered with extreme weather.

The next couple of days are going to be particularly rough in those parts, even as the weather will keep brutally beating up on New England this week.

Back in mid-February, the area had an ice storm (with lots of snow to the north in the Ohio Valley), then they had another ice storm, which caused a widespread disaster zone of fallen trees and powerlines, then heavy rain and flooding, then a flash freeze, then unprecedented late February cold, then more ice, now more heavy rain and flooding, and then more snow Wednesday.

Now, another one-punch is unfolding across the region. Round one is the massive area of precipitation breaking out across much of the eastern part of the nation.  A very wet storm is in the process of gathering and lumbering across the mid-South today and tonight.

A flood watch is up later today into tonight for much of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and nearby areas, as up to three inch of rain, melting snow, and soil saturated from the previous storms could lead to fast rises on area rivers.

Of course the storm responsible for the Ohio and Tennessee valley rains today is spreading north and east.

Already, a little freezing drizzle and freezing rain is causing big problems a little to the north in Illinois and Indiana, including the Indianapolis metro area. The rush hour this morning is on glare ice, and accidents are happening faster than anyone can keep up with.

A blizzard is brewing in parts of South Dakota and Minnesota today as light snow associated with this storminess is stirred up by winds expected to gust to 50 mph today.

A massive part of the country, encompassing basically anything east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mason-Dixon line, is under winter weather advisories and warnings later today an tonight.

That includes beleaguered New England, which stands to gain another 2 to 6 inches of snow from this, along with a little mixed precipitation late tonight and Wednesday morning. That goes for all of New England, by the way, including for readers in my home state of Vermont.

This first storm's cold front will slowly sag south through the Mid-South later today and tonight, encountering a vast amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico as it does so.

There could be one or two severe thunderstorms with the front as it moves into Louisiana and Mississippi, but the real story will again be the Tennessee and Ohio valleys.  
After an expected big winter storm leaves
Kentucky and Tennessee Wednesday, it could
move into the New York City area and
southern New England. It could drop more
than six inches of snow, according to this forecast
model. (Areas in pink.)  

The moisture interacting with the Arctic air bleeding south from Canada with the front, represents Round 2 of this mess for Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and surrounding areas.

It looks like another heavy snowstorm is coming, mixed in many areas with the kind of sleet and freezing rain that has brought down trees and power lines earlier this winter.

It's starting to get a bit late in the season for places like Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky to get four to ten inch snowstorms, like what seems to be in the offing.  But, as we know, it's not a normal winter.

After everything clears out of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, Arctic air will become entrenched.

All time record lows for the month of March are threatened by Friday. Hey, why not? Some of the same area had all time record lows for February, too.

And that snow that's expected in Tennessee and Kentucky? It moves on to southern New England Wednesday night and Thursday for a few more inches of snow there. Just what they need, right?

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