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January 5, 2014

“Flash Freeze,” wind chill warning pose threat across Middle Tennessee

UPDATE: (10:30 a.m.  1-5-14): The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning for expected wind chill values of 20 below zero.  This warning affects Stewart, Montgomery, Robertson, Sumner, Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphries and Benton Counties. A Wind Chill Advisory is in place for north Middle Tennessee from noon Monday through 8 a.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE: (5:30 a.m. 1-5-14): Flash Freeze. While it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, it is a very real threat to anyone who is caught outdoors this afternoon.

An Arctic cold front is expected to bring rapid and severe temperature changes that are both shocking and dangerous.

Ahead of the front, unusually warm temperatures and rain will fall, with a high of 50 degrees and gusty wind expected in the Nashville area around 2 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m the temperature will plummet to the freezing mark, “flash freezing” wet roads and covering them in snow within about 30 minutes. Driving will immediately become hazardous, especially on bridges and overpasses.

By 8:30 p.m. up to two inches of snow will have fallen, the temperature will have fallen to the low 20s and a wind chill of 10 degrees will be in place. Between 8:30 and midnight, the temperatures drop into the teens with a wind chill in the single digits.

Even though snowfall are not huge, much of what falls will stick to the roads over patches of thin ice, making travel extremely hazardous.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for sustained wind of 15-25 miles per hour with gusts to as much as 57 mph will toss around loose objects and possibly take down tree limbs.

An additional danger will the cold front combined with wind that drop Monday morning temperatures to as much as 10 below zero. Frostbite and hypothermia could occur if precautions are not taken. People who must travel should be prepared for cold conditions with extra clothing and blankets.

UPDATE: (6:30 p.m. 1-4-14): The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for midnight Sunday through 8 a.m. Tuesday and a winter weather advisory from 2 p.m. Sunday through midnight Sunday.

Dangerous wind chills are expected to reach between five to 14 degrees below zero. Snow accumulations of one to two inches are expected but could reach up to four inches in some locations north of I-40. Slippery roads and limited visibility are expected with this snowstorm.

Frostbite and hypothermia are very real dangers with this burst of cold arctic air. Please take shelter and dress warmly if you must be outdoors in this weather.

UPDATE: (7:10 a.m. 1-4-14): A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued by the National Service for all of Middle Tennessee from noon on Sunday through midnight Sunday night due to expected snowfall of one to four inches beginning midday  Sunday and continuing into the night and for a blast of artic air that will plunge temperatures to around zero by Monday morning. Wind chill is expected to reach 10 below zero. Up to six inches of snow could fall in an area from Jamestown to Monterey.


Anywhere from one to four inches of snow is possible across north Middle Tennessee are possible Sunday afternoon and evening, according to a special weather statement from the National Weather Service.

The latest forecast models trend toward significantly colder temperatures and snowier conditions on Sunday. A very cold blast of arctic air and wintry precipitation is likely beginning Sunday.

The major concerns are the potential for one to four inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits with wind chills below zero. The precipitation is expected to begin as rain around 6 a.m. in the northwest counties with temperatures falling drastically from around 40 degrees to the teens by Sunday night.

The transition to snow will occur around noon in the northwest counties.Travel may become hazardous during the changeover to snow and motorists should be careful on bridges and overpasses where slippery spots develop first.

Scattered snow showers will again be possible on Monday, however the big story will be the brutal cold. Temperatures will fall to a level not seen in Tennessee in about 16 years. The extreme cold will linger through Tuesday night.

Highs on Monday will be around eight to 15 degrees with the low on Tuesday morning at or below zero. Wind chills will drop that to as much as ten below zero on both Monday and Tuesday morning, which means none of the precipitation will melt.

These conditions can result in frostbite and hypothermia is precautions are not taken. If you have to venture outdoors, dress warmly and limit that time outdoors.


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