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Eye to the Sky: A big blast of cold air is coming down the pipes

It’ll be short-lived, quickly in and out, but a big blast of cold air is headed our way for Thanksgiving week, and it’ll bring with it the coldest temperatures so far this fall season.

The high temperature on Monday is likely to be in the 30s for the first time this season, and the low temperature Monday night could drop into the teens for the first time this season, before a moderating trend quickly begins on Tuesday.

The cold air will follow a cold front that will bring wind and rain to the region on Sunday.

It currently looks like the cold front will blow through the region sometime late Sunday, with rain chances quickly escalating during the early afternoon hours. We won’t see a ton of rain; generally less than an inch. But it’ll be enough to get everything good and soaking wet again after we’ve dried out Friday and Saturday.

As for temperatures, the National Weather Service’s forecast is for a high of 39° on Monday. But the GFS computer model doesn’t get us above freezing during the day! That’s likely a little overdone, but even the GFS’s model output statistics, which are geared towards climatology, keep us in the mid 30s. And the somewhat warmer ECMWF model only gets us into the mid 30s, as well. So, needless to say, it’s going to be a raw day on Monday.

By dawn on Tuesday, the ECMWF drops us to 20°, while the GFS is slightly warmer, at 23°. The official forecast from the NWS is for 20°.

For a day, at least, it’s going to be very cold. The wind chill factor is likely to be in the mid 20s during the day on Monday, dropping into the teens Monday night.

Temperatures dropping into the teens is an occurrence that is certainly not unheard of for the week of Thanksgiving, but it isn’t all too common an occurrence, either.

As for the weather on Thanksgiving Day itself, if you’re wondering … it looks quite seasonal. The GFS currently suggests a high in the low 50s, while the ECMWF is quite a bit warmer and has much of the state approaching 60°. In either case, we should be dry, but it does look like a storm system will invade the region for Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend.

MUCH WARMER FURTHER OUT: It’s beginning to look like we may see a very warm start to December, as models are showing strong ridging over the eastern U.S. as we get into the week after Thanksgiving.

Currently, it looks like we could approach 70° here on the northern Cumberland Plateau for a couple of days. The GFS has another strong cold front moving into the region on Dec. 3-4, but that is right at the end of its range, so a lot of changes are likely over the next few days.

For whatever it’s worth, the NWS’s Climate Prediction Center is currently forecasting below-normal temperatures for East Tennessee through the first few days of December. We’ll see how that forecast pans out.

WHAT ABOUT SNOW? We’re moving into the time of year when everyone’s thoughts start to turn to the potential for major cold weather and snow. The start of meteorological winter is less than two weeks away.

For now, there are no real snow chances for the next couple of weeks, outside the highest elevations of the mountains to our east. We could see a few snow flakes flying around on Monday as the cold air moves in, however.

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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