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Saturday, December 4, 2021
Home Blogs Eye to the Sky Update: Major (if short lived) cool-down on the way

Update: Major (if short lived) cool-down on the way

It’s been unusually hot for October this year. The average temperature, so far, has been a whopping 8 degrees above normal.

But that’s going to change — at least temporarily — this weekend, as a major cold front moves through the region.

Rain is in the forecast for Friday night and early Saturday, which will be followed by a spectacular autumn weekend, and we could see temperatures drop into the 30s for the first time this season. This is the kind of weekend that helps accelerate fall colors, which are running behind schedule.

The rain: First, let’s talk about the rain potential because it could prove to be an aggravation for Friday night’s high school football games. There will be a chance for scattered showers by right about kickoff time on Friday, though the main line of showers (and, potentially, thunderstorms) associated with the cold front will still be well back to the west. That line will slowly move across the state — and weaken — as the night progresses, likely reaching the Cumberland Plateau between midnight and daybreak. That timeline will be fine-tuned over the next 24 hours or so.

We aren’t going to see much rain from this cold front, which will be relatively moisture-starved, as cold fronts go. The NAM model is showing less than a quarter of an inch of rain for us here on the plateau as the main line of precipitation weakens. The GFS is showing slightly more than that, and the ECMWF is showing slightly more than the GFS. But the major models all agree on less than half an inch of total rainfall for the northern plateau region.

The temps: Temperatures will easily be the biggest story from this weather-maker. We’ve been extremely warm for the past 10 days or so, with temps in or near the 80s. So a cool-down is going to be a bit of a shock to the system, making it seem chillier than it actually is.

We’re unlikely to climb far into the 60s on Saturday. There will be a northwest breeze all day behind the cold front, and we’ll struggle to warm up very much with that initial push of cold air penetrating the region. The National Weather Service is currently forecasting a high of 61° for Oneida. That’s about 20 degrees cooler than we’ll be today!

Both the GFS and ECMWF models are even slightly cooler than the forecast, showing much of the northern plateau region struggling to get out of the 50s during the day on Saturday.

Then we’ll see temperatures rapidly fall into the 40s after sunset Saturday evening, and that’s when we could see our first taste of 30s this season. We came very close to seeing 30s back in late September; we officially bottomed out at 40° on Sept. 25. But our coolest temperature for October has been a ridiculously warm 54°.

The NWS office in Nashville mentions in its morning forecast discussion that some upper 30s are possible along the plateau Saturday night. The GFS model has us hitting 39°, while the ECMWF is several degrees warmer. Either way, it’s going to be jacket weather Sunday morning.

The rebound: High temps will only be in the 60s on Sunday and Monday, as well, as the glorious fall weather continues for a couple of days. But we will recover next week, with high temps bouncing back into the 70s.

The good news is that we aren’t going to get as warm as we have been this week. And although the general trend of above-average temperatures will continue through the rest of this month and perhaps even into November, we may be done with temps in the 80s until next spring.

In fact, some models now show a replenishing shot of cooler air moving in by the middle of next week. It won’t be as strong as the cool-down we’re expecting this weekend, but it should help temperatures feeling much less like summer and more like fall.

 

Eye to the Sky is a weather blog of the Independent Herald, written primarily by IH publisher Ben Garrett. Views expressed here are those of the authors and should not be considered substitute for official advisories, watches or warnings from the National Weather Service. For the latest, most up-to-date forecast information, see weather.gov/mrx.
Ben Garrett
Ben Garrett is Independent Herald editor. Contact him at bgarrett@ihoneida.com. Follow him on Twitter, @benwgarrett.

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