Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wrapping Up Tennessee; Severe Weather Outbreak Ahead

I'll start with the breaking news of the day and that is a moderate risk for a severe weather outbreak in the center of the nation today.

The state of Missouri is the target for many storm chasers this Wednesday as well as western Illinois.

Overnight the Storms Prediction Center added much of northeast Oklahoma, southeast Kansas and northwest Arkansas to the threat area, but my gut still says eastern Missouri and western Illinois will be the place to be if you want in on the worst of the storms.

The map below shows tornado probability today, and 10% is a high number.

So if you live in this part of the nation today, go ahead and activate your severe weather plan. If you have kids who come home alone on the bus after school, make sure you have a plan in place for them to follow because things will probably be heating up in terms of intense storm activity by late afternoon.

My good friend, and officially now Meteorologist Tony Laubach as of Tuesday afternoon, is currently in Missouri chasing. He has a great web site if you want to check it out. Click here to follow him today. Tony has already seen 6 tornadoes this year alone.

I am very proud of this guy, it took 9 long hard years to accomplish his goal of adding the title meteorologist to his name. Ironically it took me the same amount of time. Our paths to becoming meteorologists have been very similar, taking us across the country to a new home in the west, working 2 and 3 jobs the entire time and holding down internships too. Both us of got very involved with a weather passion that took up a lot of our time as well -- him storm chasing and me CoCoRaHS. I am so glad he stuck with it and didn't give up. Tony -- congratulations!!!

I am supposed to go on a chase with him, every year I say I will and never do, so this year I have decided it will be the one! When and where will have to be determined later this summer.

Wrapping Up Tennessee Climate

Last but not least let's talk about the temperatures across Tennessee.

Annually, one word sums it up and that is warm.

But where is the warmest locations?

Memphis and western Tennessee experience the highest annual average temperatures, but it beats out the rest of the state by only a few degrees.

The annual summer high is about 90 degrees at most locations, coolest in the higher terrain of eastern Tennessee where mid to upper 80s are more common.

The annual winter low temperature is about 30 degrees at most locations, with mid to upper 20s in the eastern half of the state where the terrain is a bit higher.

So for a person who doesn't like the bitter cold of the northern states, Tennessee would be a great place to live.

You will definitely experience all 4 seasons, but you will also have to contend with a lot of humidity.

Personally, having spent a fair amount of time visiting family and vacationing in Tennessee as a kid, I think the western half of the state is the worst for those hot and humid days. Once you get east of Nashville and I-65 you gain elevation and lose a few degrees so the feels-like temperature becomes a little easier to handle.

The temperature extremes for the state of Tennessee span over 140 degrees.

The highest temperature ever recorded was 113 degrees, most recently measured on August 9, 1930 at Perryville, Tennessee.

Perryville sits at just under 400 feet above sea level in Decatur County, Tennessee -- which is about half way between Memphis and Nashville, just south of Interstate 40.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Tennessee was -32 degrees on December 30, 1917 in Mountain City, Tennessee.

Mountain City, with an elevation just under 2,500 feet, is located in extreme northeast Tennessee, near the borders of Virginia and North Carolina.

1 comment:

  1. What a great website, thanks for that link!!

    Should be an interesting day here in Missouri! My children were in the hallway at school for 2 hours last Friday due to tornado warnings. Looks like we may have a similar day today.

    BTW - I finally got my own CoCoRaHS Station on a blog! :) Check me out at I have some pictures of the flooding we received thanks to the storms last Thursday night/Friday.

    Have a great day!