By JENNIFER HORTONThe Wilson Post
OK, maybe the snow on Wednesday wasn’t that much to get excited about although it was pretty to look at as it fell, but fear not, we may be seeing a more significant snowfall by Monday night if a developing storm system holds together as it moves our way.
We hear this every winter, said Darrell Massie, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Old Hickory, “but depending on the track of the low pressure that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico” we could see the first “significant snowfall” in the Middle Tennessee area.
As of Thursday afternoon, weather service computer models show the low pressure coming out of the northern Gulf of Mexico and moving toward the Eastern Seaboard. When storm systems follow that pattern in the winter, and when it is cold enough, “that’s when we get our more significant snowfall in Tennessee. It’s shaping up as an interesting weather period,” Massie said.
While it is still too far out to talk about accumulation from this approaching system, he emphasized, “With these types of systems, we can expect 3 inches or more,” he said. “If it pulls more toward the south and east, we could be on the fringe. It looks like a potential. Monday night looks like the main window.”
Before Monday and whatever it brings, first we have a much warmer weekend that may find you not thinking much about snow at all.
Today should be mostly cloudy and cold with a high in the upper 30s. The low tonight under mostly cloudy skies should be in the mid 20s.
Saturday, however, is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 50. The low Saturday night drops to 34 with partly cloudy skies. Sunday will also be mostly sunny with a high of about 57, but winds will be south-southwest at 5-15 mph and could gust as high as 25 mph. There is a 50 percent chance of rain Sunday night with a low of about 38. Winds will be out of the south at 5-10 mph becoming northeast.
Then it’s Monday. The forecast from the NWS as of Thursday afternoon calls for a 70 percent chance of rain and snow on Monday. The high will be in the low 40s but will begin dropping during the day and into the night to the low 20s. Winds should be north-northwest at 5-15 mph and gusting as high as 25 mph. There is a 70 percent chance of snow Monday night.
The high Tuesday is expected to be about 29 with a 30 percent chance of snow, and the low Tuesday night should be about 16 under mostly cloudy skies.
“One thing we look for is continuity in computer models,” Massie said, when storms such as this form in the northern Gulf of Mexico. “So far,” he added, “they’ve been pretty consistent.”
If the storm does what meteorologists think it will, it will indeed be the first significant snowfall Wilson County has had in a few years. Officially, less than 1 inch of snow fell at the airport in Nashville during the winter of 2007-2008, and that was due to the drought.
So far this winter season, 1.4 inches total has fallen at the Nashville airport. The average snowfall for this area is 8.5 to 9 inches, said Sam Herron, another meteorologist at the NWS.
Many of you will likely remember the big snowfall of Jan. 16, 2003 when 7 inches fell. That storm system, meteorologists said at the time, came together quickly and caught many unprepared.
The most important thing for everyone is to pay attention to the weather as Monday approaches and to be careful if you have to be out and about. Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.