The buzzer has sounded on winter’s first half. With five more weeks of winter still on the menu, it’s time to reflect on what has been an historical snowy season that still shows little sign of letting up anytime soon. Below is the 2009-10 winter history for Middle Tennessee/Southern Kentucky thus far (also open for “outlying comments” as well):
January 7-9, 2010 - A blown forecast of 2-3” of snow bursts the bubble of confidence for most Middle Tennesseans on Thursday, January 7. An average of only 0.5” blankets the midstate due to unforeseen dry slots at 850 mb that evaporated snow before reaching the ground. The following night, an unexpected 0.5”-1” of fresh snow coats the pre-existing snow depth – a small amount, but historic considering the prolonged journey of the snow having originated from Lake Michigan! This unique occurrence is the first of its kind since 1994.
Total snow accumulation: 1.0”-1.3”
January 29-30, 2010 - An active southern jet shoots a massive winter storm into Middle Tennessee in congruence with arctic air spreading southeast. Early forecasts indicate a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain could leave 4-6” of mixed precipitation for most areas along and north of I-40. The preliminary sweet spot of accumulation, however, ends up in southern Williamson, Maury, and Marshall Counties, where up to 6” fall, before northern areas along the Kentucky Stateline catch up Friday night. Snow commences in Nashville around 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning, Jan. 29th, and falls steadily through the nighttime hours, before transitioning to sleet and freezing rain early Saturday morning. The scene at 8:00 a.m. reveals a crusty, brittle snow, hardened by a moderate layer of ice seemingly preserving it beneath. Snow showers linger into mid-morning before tapering off. Jackpot snowfall amounts reach 9-10+” in Macon County and other northwestern plateau counties.
Total snow accumulation: 5.7”-6.1”
Total ice accumulation: 0.2”-0.3”
February 8-9, 2010 – Most local forecasts heading into late Sunday called for little to no accumulation of snow and mostly rain for Monday, Feb. 8. However, daytime temperatures remain five degrees below prediction, setting the stage for a surprising round of short-lived snowfall. Moisture arrives at dusk to provide a three hour period of moderate to heavy snow that deposits a thick 2” on the ground in Williamson County, and increasingly more in counties northwest of Nashville. Areas up in Montgomery County, near Land between the Lakes, pick up 5-6”. Unfortunately, the snow turns to rain at 9:00 p.m. in Brentwood, as warmer air invades the mid-levels, though surface temperatures hover around freezing. The above-freezing air bypasses western Kentucky, where a personal expedition to Murray State University on the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 8 more than makes up for lost snow that eluded most parts of the Nashville-metro area.
Total snow accumulation (Brentwood) : 1.8”-2.2”
Total snow accumulation (Murray): 5.9”-6.7”
Total snow/ice accumulation 2009-10 Winter Season (as of 2/10/10): 8.7”-9.9”
Total experienced snow/ice accumulation 2009-10 Winter Season (as of 2/10/10): 12.8”-14.4”