Today is Tuesday, September 23, 2014

More rain coming

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By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post

Think of it as liquid sunshine.

Perhaps that will help lighten things up a bit because more rain is in the forecast through the first of next week.

Chances of rain decrease the next few days, but is still in the 30 to 60 percent range.

Through 1 p.m., Thursday, 4.68 inches of rain had fallen at the Nashville International Airport, said Henry Steigerwaldt, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service Office in Old Hickory.

A map available through the NWS website at www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, or CoCoRaHs (pronounced cocorahs), showed varying rainfall amounts in Wilson County on Thursday. Rainfall amounts included 5.24 inches near Lebanon, 3.5 to 4 inches or more in West Wilson, 4.37 inches in the northeastern part of the county and 3.69 inches in the southeastern portion of Wilson.

“It’s as good an indication as you can get,” Steigerwaldt said. “We’ve had some pretty good amounts over the last 24 hours.”

All of this rain has caused flooding in some parts of the Middle Tennessee area. A flood watch issued yesterday was extended through tonight.

Rain should continue as it has, Steigerwaldt said, meaning it may rain for a little while then quit for a couple of hours before starting again. While that’s good in some respects, it’s bad in that the ground is saturated and can’t absorb anymore moisture thereby potentially creating a flooding problem.

The water rose so high yesterday in Rutherford County that 18 people were reported to have been rescued from their residences in Christiana. A Red Cross shelter was opened in Murfreesboro for those families.

Some roads were closed Thursday morning in Wilson County including West Spring Street and portions of Hartsville Pike and Bluebird Road. They were opened a short time later as high waters over the roadways receded.

Steigerwaldt said soundings from weather balloons released twice a day at the weather service office “looks like a tropical sounding.”

Rainfall amounts like we have seen in the past few days and occurring this time of year are more normally caused by the remnants of a hurricane or tropical storm, but not this time because no hurricane has entered the Gulf of Mexico and moved north so far this hurricane season.

Steigerwaldt said an upper level low pressure system over a low near the surface has been in the eastern Texas, southwest Arkansas and Louisiana area for several days moving slowly and “wobbling around.” It was, and is, pulling moisture up from the Gulf, but “it took a while for the moisture to get to us. Then it moved far enough north” to finally bring the rain.

While that has been going on, a high pressure system has been located to our north at the same time keeping the moisture from moving out of the Middle Tennessee region.

“It’s almost locked in place,” he said. “It’s a battle between the high pressure and low pressure and us in the middle.”

The system should start to move Sunday with the high pressure headed northeast and then east and the low moving gradually toward Missouri. Even so, rain is still in the forecast for Wilson County today, Saturday and Sunday.

There is a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today with a high of 81. The rain chance decreases to 40 percent tonight with a low of about 67.

Saturday and Saturday night have a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high of about 79 and a low of 68. Sunday’s rain chance is 50 percent with a high of 83, and Sunday night should have a 30 percent chance of rain and a low of about 68.

A record was set on Wednesday, Sept. 16 with 2.69 inches of rain measured at the Nashville airport. That broke the old record of 1.69 inches set on Sept. 16, 1894, Steigerwaldt said.

Look on the bright side, however. “It would have been interesting if this occurred in the winter, if it had been real cold,” he said, especially if you like precipitation of the snowy kind.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at news@wilsonpost.com. 

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