Today is Sunday, November 23, 2014

Little rain ahead, drought still in effect

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Storms that pop up amidst drought conditions often bring a lot of lightning with them, with Boyd saying the dry ground helps produce a lot of cloud-to-ground lightning.


Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation Communications Coordinator Todd Palmer said about 1,200 members lost power in Lebanon for around 45 minutes during the lightning.


He said a pole was struck by lightning at the corner of South College Street and East Spring Street in Lebanon, resulting in power outages from around 11:15 a.m. to shortly after noon.


Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Dowell also said the department was busy around the same time with several calls regarding fire alarms and traffic signals in the area around South Cumberland Street.


We had a bunch of calls about alarms and one man trapped in an elevator, Dowell said.


When the power went out at Best Value Inn, located at 822 S. Cumberland St., a man was stuck inside the elevator. Dowell said a team responded to the hotel and safely got the man out.


Dowell said a number of traffic signal outages along South Cumberland caused a few traffic accidents, but none with injuries.


It got busy there for a while, but I couldnt ask for a better result, he said.


Although the rain brought some relief on Monday, Boyd said the heat is just too much for a small rain. He said evaporation is high in the current conditions and noted between 0.3 and 0.5 inches of water is evaporated daily from the ground and plants.


That water will be gone before the end of the day, he said.


Todays forecast is calling for a high of 96 degrees and an overnight low of 73 with a 30 percent chance of storms during the day. Boyd said local fireworks displays in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown would at least not be hampered by rain.


The chance of rain would mainly be during the day and maybe 10 percent at night, he said. The fireworks should be okay.


The unfortunate fact remains that much of Wilson County is still considered in a moderate drought and Boyd said the temperatures over the weekend produced four straight days with triple digits.


The longest such streak of consecutive days in the triple-digits came in June 1952 when Wilson County suffered through eight days of temperatures over 100. However, Boyd said in August 2007, Wilson County had 15 total days of triple-digit temperatures, although not consecutively.


Boyd said on Friday, June 29, the NWS Old Hickory office recorded a high of 106-degrees, with Lebanon experiencing a high of 108 on Saturday, June 30 and Watertown had a high of 109 degrees on Friday.


Lebanons all-time record high is 111 degrees from Aug. 8, 1930, Boyd said.


Amid the sweltering heat, University Medical Center treated a handful of people for heat-related illnesses. AnnaLee Cockrill, director of business development and marketing at UMC said four patients were treated at the Emergency Room over the weekend due to the heat.


All four patients were discharged home but the illnesses ranged from heat fatigue, heat cramps and general heat illness.


Boyd said the temperatures will remain in the high 90s going into this weekend, but said those temperatures should fall slightly next week. The high on Thursday and Friday will be 98 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


Slight reprieve from the heat should come around Sunday when a front is expected to move in and increase the chances of rain and lower temperatures. However, Boyd said those temperatures will be low, relative to last weekends scorcher.


Next week well have a front come down about Sunday and temperatures should be lower. Well, I should say we will have temperatures that are not as hot, Boyd said.


The highs on Sunday through next Tuesday are expected to be in the mid-90s, which Boyd said is still over the normal high this time of year of 89 degrees.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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