It's been a dry Winter so far
Winter so far in Chattanooga has both been colder and drier than average. Winter and Spring are the two wettest seasons of the year on average in the Tennessee Valley. With the Drought of 2016 still in our recent memory we are hoping that this dry seasonal trend changes as we head into Spring.
DRY SO FAR
Both December and January (so far) were drier than average in Chattanooga. January alone is almost 3 inches below average. Since December 1st, Chattanooga is 4.53" below average in rainfall. This is not a good start to the year. The weekly Drought Monitor update has most of our viewing area on the low end of the Drought scale as "Dry". But, a few spots west and south already in a "Moderate" Drought category. The Exceptional Drought of 2016 also began with a drier than average Winter and that trend continued through the following Spring, Summer and Fall. We can only hope that we start to have some wetter days in the weeks ahead. Snow won't help the rain gauge all that much. On average, 1" of snow has a liquid equivalent of 0.10"
We'll keep you updated on the Drought trends in the weeks ahead.
WEEKEND SHOWERS POSSIBLE
Some rain is on the way for the weekend. However, amounts looks light. It still looks as if the timing of arrival for the showers should be later in the day Saturday. The better local chances through Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. The rain should gradually taper through Sunday Afternoon. Nothing severe is expected with this system. Rainfall amounts averaging between 0.30" to 0.50".
DRY AND SEASONAL AGAIN NEXT WEEK
The first half of next week still looks dry along with a seasonal chill. Sunny to partly sunny Monday through Wednesday with morning lows around 30 and afternoon highs ranging from the upper 40s to lower 50s (Normal High/Low is 51/31).
ARCTIC AIR RETURNING?
We continue to watch the long range trends which suggest that arctic air could return to the US East and Southeast by late next week and the weekend of Feb 3-4. This remains a possibility as high temperatures by Saturday, Feb 3rd could stay right around the freezing mark. The arctic front bringing the frigid air could supply us with rain next Thursday and Friday. The rain "might" end as a wintry mix. But, that is a LONG way off and we'll keep you updated on weather or not any wintry precip could accompany the arctic air next Friday and Saturday.
As always, you can depend on the StormTrack 9 Team for updates.