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Carvers Gap

Historic Tennessee Valley Cold, Snow, and Ice Events

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I thought this might be a good thread while we wait on Old Man Winter to unleash his hounds. Links and personal accounts welcome.  I am putting this up.  I'll work in the evening over the weekend to add a few of my own personal favorites.  The ideas here is to get stories from all of the state.

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You would have to think January of 1985 has to be up there. Search YouTube, several events that month into February AND arctic cold mid month. Dates with still shots below (quality not the best, videos are grainy at best)

January 3

3azytuvy.jpganuzubu4.jpg

January 16-17

upumuta5.jpgdave9epa.jpg2y2e3yra.jpg

January 29th

6yguzu2u.jpgybyjebaq.jpg

February 11th

ehutu9ar.jpg

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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(edit) I am w/ you, tnweathernut.  I put this in before knowing you had posted yours!  1985 Arctic Outbreak...This is by far my favorite winter of all time.  I was fourteen.  I can distinctly remember having to heat our house w/ a kerosene heater as an alternate heat source.  I can remember being on the cold ground under my house trying to thaw pipes - by far the coldest I have ever been.  I can remember going to school on Saturday - too many times. 

 

Case Study of 1985 Arctic Outbreak (AMS)

 

The Big Chill of 1985 (NWAS)

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22) "SOUTHEASTERN SNOWSTORM OF 2011"

January 10-13, 2011

This Gulf Coast storm interacted with a very cold air mass that was situated all the way into the Gulf Coastal region. This rare set up resulted in a large swath of nearly 1-foot snow accumulations from Northern Texas through the Gulf States, including portions Arkansas and Tennessee. Interior portions of the Carolinas into the Appalachian Mountains received 1-2 feet of snow. Some sleet and freezing rain also mixed in across these areas to create significant travel and power outage issues. The storm hooked up the East coast where it intensified, bringing a general 1-3 feet of snow along the Eastern seaboard. Although minor snow accumulations in the Southeast U.S. during the winter months are not unexpected, the areal

coverage and magnitude of snow accumulations made this a historic storm.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/?n=biggestsnowstorms-us

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The 1996 Blizzard was impressive for some places.  I lived in Knoxville and missed out on one(edit).   If any of you went through that storm, would love to hear your take on this.  Great article linked below:

 

1996

post-769-0-88066500-1387511417_thumb.jpg

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1996 Blizzard.  As you can see, impacts were felt in much of the Tennessee Valley and well beyond.  I just remember not being able to go anywhere in Knoxville for days due to ice/snow.  We didn't get near the snow that KTRI did.  The interstates were down to one lane.  My roof on my apartment began leaking because the water had nowhere to go - started backing up under the shingles.  Here is another map from RSI (great site BTW) which lists impacts and maps of great winter storms:

post-769-0-75603900-1387512266_thumb.jpg

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Great thread idea!  I'm enjoying the responses so far!

 

The 1996 Blizzard was impressive for some places.  I lived in Knoxville and missed out on one(edit).   If any of you went through that storm, would love to hear your take on this.  Great article linked below:

 

1996

 

The memory is fuzzy, but I was in Knoxville for that one as an undergrad.  Wild storm for sure and fridgid temps, it shut down UT campus which was very rare.  I recall about a half foot on the ground, in which some of us buried a keg of beer.  Seems like there were several snow storms in a row there between January and early February but like I said, my memory is fuzzy and I'm too lazy to look it up.  I do know there was enough snow to bury a keg of beer though.

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That website is a serious time hole! I love it. So far in my 12 years in the TN Valley, Jan 2011 ranks above all else for winter. While I also got to enjoy my first White Christmas, just the volume and the amount of time on the ground still ranks it #1. Chatt was in a serious snow drought until Jan 2010....now it has returned.

 

 

I was in Tallahassee for 1985...but I have heard the stories of some of the older workers here and what they had to deal with at the plants with those ridiculous temperatures.

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January 22nd 2000, Smithville Tennessee, my wedding day.

 

I wasn't on weather forums at the time and the local news was not hyping this at all, so everyone in my wedding party was shocked to wake up to moderate snow with 2 inches or so on the ground.  Roads got very bad quickly and many friends and family from west TN and north MS weren't able to make it.  But, it was a friggin awesome snow storm and the timing was perfect.  It snowed on and off all day resulting in probably 4 to 6 inches by the evening in Smithville.  I white knuckled it over the plateau in my Maxima to the airport in Knoxville.  Good times.

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I love this new forum, and this topic...good to remember some past events:

 

Winter 1982 - I was a senior at UT and a huge ice storm hit all of East Tennessee....worst ice storm I can remember. Cumberland Avenue was a complete skating rink...cars were just free sliding all over the place. I had to walk from the Student Center all the way up 16th to the married students apartments at the top of the hill....what is normally a 5 or 6 minute walk took almost an hour. I remember it was on a Tuesday evening, and exactly one week before Knoxville had a pretty decent snow storm.

 

January 1985 - Unbelievable cold here in East Tennessee...major damage to water lines everywhere...-21 at KTRI and -24 at KTYS, if I remember correctly. I was living in Charlotte at the time and it was -11 there.

 

April 1987 - Everyone thought it was an April Fool's joke...snowed all weekend...had a max of about 14 inches on our deck.

 

Blizzard of 1993 - I remember the incredible thunder snow that Friday night...probably the hardest I have ever seen it snow. And, by Saturday night, the temps crashed to single digits with all that snow pack. No power for about 3 days.

 

Winter 1996 - Three huge snows in a span of about 20 days or so....two in the same week.

 

If I can get my old scanner to work, I will scan some photos from 93 and 96 and post them...this was before digital took over photography!

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This is the 30th anniversary of the frigid Christmas of 1983. My low was -10, my high was 6 degrees. It was an odd pattern, it would warm up and rain, change to snow showers, then be really cold. Then repeat. The entire second half of December went that way in 1983.

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This got me to thinking about the trend of warmer winters since 1998ish. My earliest winter memories start around 1975. I decided to look back at my grandfathers low temp records for here to see how often we slipped below 5 degrees here in the winters since then.

 

1975: 4 Degrees December 19th

 

1976: -5 January 9th

 

1977: -10 January 19th - Also -7 January 29th with several other subzero days.

 

1978: -2 January 11th

 

1979: -10 February 10th

 

1980: 4 February 2nd

 

1981: -2 January 12th  

 

1982: -14 January 17th - many days below 0 with a -10 on Jan 11th

 

1983: -8 December 25th, -4 on December 24th.

 

1984:  -2 January 21st, 0 on the 20th and 22nd.

 

1985: -28 January 21st, -22 January 20th.

 

1986: -5 January 27th and 28th

 

1987: 2 January 27th

 

1988: 0 February 6th

 

1989: -10 December 22nd, high was 0 that day.

 

1990: No temps below 5.

 

1991: 0 February 16th

 

1992: 2 January 16th 

 

1993: 0 March 15th, blizzard was good.

 

1994: -14 January 19th, -10 18th, two other days below 0 in the month.

 

1995: -4 February 8th, -1 on the 7th. 4th-14th was very cold and snowy. Last yr for my grandpa. He died Mar 16th at 90.

 

1996: -20 February 5th. 15 inches of snow on the ground. Last extreme cold event (below -5 imo) in East Tennessee.

 

1997: 1 January 11th

 

1998: No temps below 5

 

1999: No temps below 5

 

2000: 5 December 22nd

 

2001: 2 January 3rd

 

2002: No temps below 5

 

2003: -4 January 18th (last sub zero)

 

2004: 2 December 20th

 

2005: No temps below 5.

 

2006: No temps below 5.

 

2007: No temps below 5.

 

2008: 4 January 20th

 

2009: 0 January 16th

 

2010: 3 December 14th

 

2011: 4 January 14th

 

2012: No temps below 5.

 

2013: No temps below 5.

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This got me to thinking about the trend of warmer winters since 1998ish. My earliest winter memories start around 1975. I decided to look back at my grandfathers low temp records for here to see how often we slipped below 5 degrees here in the winters since then.

 

1975: 4 Degrees December 19th

 

1976: -5 January 9th

 

1977: -10 January 19th - Also -7 January 29th with several other subzero days.

 

1978: -2 January 11th

 

1979: -10 February 10th

 

1980: 4 February 2nd

 

1981: -2 January 12th  

 

1982: -14 January 17th - many days below 0 with a -10 on Jan 11th

 

1983: -8 December 25th, -4 on December 24th.

 

1984:  -2 January 21st, 0 on the 20th and 22nd.

 

1985: -28 January 21st, -22 January 20th.

 

1986: -5 January 27th and 28th

 

1987: 2 January 27th

 

1988: 0 February 6th

 

1989: -10 December 22nd, high was 0 that day.

 

1990: No temps below 5.

 

1991: 0 February 16th

 

1992: 2 January 16th 

 

1993: 0 March 15th, blizzard was good.

 

1994: -14 January 19th, -10 18th, two other days below 0 in the month.

 

1995: -4 February 8th, -1 on the 7th. 4th-14th was very cold and snowy. Last yr for my grandpa. He died Mar 16th at 90.

 

1996: -20 February 5th. 15 inches of snow on the ground. Last extreme cold event (below -5 imo) in East Tennessee.

 

1997: 1 January 11th

 

1998: No temps below 5

 

1999: No temps below 5

 

2000: 5 December 22nd

 

2001: 2 January 3rd

 

2002: No temps below 5

 

2003: -4 January 18th (last sub zero)

 

2004: 2 December 20th

 

2005: No temps below 5.

 

2006: No temps below 5.

 

2007: No temps below 5.

 

2008: 4 January 20th

 

2009: 0 January 16th

 

2010: 3 December 14th

 

2011: 4 January 14th

 

2012: No temps below 5.

 

2013: No temps below 5.

That is excellent data and a great contribution to this thread because it is unique to our region and is data your family collected.

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I kept a really detailed "snow chart" from about 1987 to about 1998 when I was still living at home in Cookeville.  Any time we had frozen precip of any kind, I'd write it down (pre-computer days).  I've still got it somewhere and I need to drag it out to reminisce.  My two favorites of course were March 1993 and the surprise thumping we got in early February of 1998.  We received over a foot with both events.  I also remember the anticipation of the January 1988 event.  This is back when Flip Spiceland was on CNN and remember him saying, "Tennessee...you're in for a lot of snow!"  Good times....

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I kept a really detailed "snow chart" from about 1987 to about 1998 when I was still living at home in Cookeville.  Any time we had frozen precip of any kind, I'd write it down (pre-computer days).  I've still got it somewhere and I need to drag it out to reminisce.  My two favorites was of course were March 1993 and the surprise thumping we got in early February of 1998.  We received over a foot with both events.  I also remember the anticipation of the January 1988 event.  This is back when Flip Spiceland was on CNN and remember him saying, "Tennessee...you're in for a lot of snow!"  Good times....

My memory from that decade is a little foggy, but I think that event for you guys in 1998 was on the heels of a similar event for us that same year (a few weeks earlier).  Both events were cutoff lows.  The one that hit the tricities area snowed 3 inches per hour for 7 straight hours and totaled 24-30 inches around Johnson City.  Power was out for several days. I remember the population then being 55,000ish, and 50k were without power!  I had a buddy in medical school at the time, living in a 500 sq foot, one bedroom apartment (with gas heat).  There were over 25 people staying with him for 5-6 days.  You would wake up and it would look like Jonestown the morning after with bodies just laying EVERYWHERE.  Pretty crazy snowstorm. 

 

The reason I remember your snow was the setup was almost identical to what we had just experienced and I thought we were going to get hammered again.  As the event got closer, the models began to hone in on the exact track, which was just west of us (sparing us, and hitting you guys with 12-14 inches of heavy wet snow). 

 

Great memories, even though the details are a bit fuzzy.

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My memory from that decade is a little foggy, but I think that event for you guys in 1998 was on the heels of a similar event for us that same year (a few weeks earlier).  Both events were cutoff lows.  The one that hit the tricities area snowed 3 inches per hour for 7 straight hours and totaled 24-30 inches around Johnson City.  Power was out for several days. I remember the population then being 55,000ish, and 50k were without power!  I had a buddy in medical school at the time, living in a 500 sq foot, one bedroom apartment (with gas heat).  There were over 25 people staying with him for 5-6 days.  You would wake up and it would look like Jonestown the morning after with bodies just laying EVERYWHERE.  Pretty crazy snowstorm. 

 

The reason I remember your snow was the setup was almost identical to what we had just experienced and I thought we were going to get hammered again.  As the event got closer, the models began to hone in on the exact track, which was just west of us (sparing us, and hitting you guys with 12-14 inches of heavy wet snow). 

 

Great memories, even though the details are a bit fuzzy.

 

You are indeed correct.  The only reason I know is because my wife (girlfriend at the time) was living with her parents in Greeneville, TN.  She called, I asked her what she was doing, and she said they were just sitting around talking because the power was out.  I asked her why the power was out and she said it was because they had over a foot of snow on the ground and it was still pouring the snow.  Her dad had to pick her up early from work that day because she couldn't drive in the amount of snow that had fallen.  She said that by the time they finally got home, the snow was so deep on the road that the car was basically pushing the snow like a snow plow.  Like you said, I'm pretty sure they ended up with around 2 feet.  I can't begin to tell you how jealous I was.  Little did I know that we'd get our own surprise a few weeks later.

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The Johnson City event was 1-27-98. The Plateau/Highland Rim event was a week later on 2-4-98. I had 18 inches of snow, Scott County got over 24 inches and most of the area was without power. Two very similar storms.

 

My two most unique storms are the December 2009 event that dumped 4-8 inches of snow over most of Campbell County while mainly rain fell in every direction and a March 1997 event that dropped 5 inches on me in a very elevation driven event. There is a farm with a large barn right at the top of a steep drop here. There was 5 inches on one side of the barn and barely an inch on the other side of it. I doubt I see anything like that again in my lifetime. 

 

I had an uncle driving here from Texas that night and he said the snow was manageable until he got to that crest at the barn, then it was just a white out the rest of the way.

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12311963_snow.pngNew Year's Eve & New Year's Day 1963-1964 Snowstorm

                                               Bobby Boyd
                                                    Meteorologist
                                              National Weather Service
                                              Nashville, Tennessee

                                                              
It's been nearly 50 years since Nashville has accumulated 10 inches of snow
from a single storm. The last time it happened was on New Year's Eve in 1963
and continued into New Year's Day 1964. Nashville measured 10.2 inches of
snowfall while areas across southern Middle Tennessee totaled upwards of
16 inches. this was the largest snowfall in Nashville since 15.0 inches fell on
February 21st 1929.

A cold airmass was already in place when a wave developed on a surface
front in the central Gulf of Mexico on December 30th 1963. The surface
wave quickly developed into a low pressure area and moved northeast
across Florida spreading a wide area of precipitation northward. Snow
fell in Middle Tennessee in the overnight hours of New Year's Eve and
into New Year's Day 1963-64. Some areas of northwest Alabama received
20 inches of snow.

On the afternoon of December 29th 1963 cold arctic air pushed southward
toward the Gulf Coast. Supported by a 1040 mbar high over the northern
Plains and by very strong northerly flow aloft from Canada to Texas, the
cold air plunged across the Gulf of Mexico south of latitude 25 degrees by
midday of December 30th. With an upper-level ridge moving inland on the
West Coast and a large amplitude cold trough over the Mississippi River
Valley, the stage was set for heavy snowfall over the Southern states.

Clues to a developing weather system were evident on the evening of
December 30th, as the 500 mbar height falls over extreme south Texas
accompanied by unusually cold air indicated an intensification of the trough
or the formation of a low center near the Gulf Coast. The 500 mbar trough
sharpened during the night as very cold air began moving over an area
already under the influence of a noticeable speed divergence pattern
from Lake Charles to Nashville. By evening on December 31st the upper-level
chart showed a well organized cold low centered over southern Mississippi. 

 

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=ohx&storyid=96629&source=0

 

Might take a mi or 2 to load up

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I'm impressed with some of y'alls memory and record keeping skills, wow.  I do good to recall general details of storms 3 years ago lol.  We should make a severe version of this thread come spring time.

 

:guitar:

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Does anybody remember this little event on Morristown's page?:

 

Local Weather History for December 31st......

Local Weather History For December 31st...

Winter storm dumped 2-5" snow over the area in 1997.
4-8’ fell in the mountains.

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It was a series of upper lows rotating around a large parent low to the north. It snowed for about 36 consecutive hours. 6.5 inches here, I remember it was around the first time there was a secondary deer season from just before Christmas into New Years. 

 

I can remember one very heavy bout on the front end, I had went down to a gas station to get gas for my 4 wheeler for hunting and it was pouring down half dollar+ sized flakes. Got about an inch in 20 minutes.  It would be very light snow, then heavy burts for the next day and a half or so.

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I'll add this to the historic cold thread....probably a better graphic out there.  I'll see if I can't grab MRX's graphic on FB.  If somebody beats me to it, won't hurt my feelings.  Anyway, here is the re-written record book for January @ Tri-Cities, TN.

 

post-769-0-44156100-1389311650_thumb.jpg

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A lot of us have heard about the infamous "Year without a summer" but there isn't much data on it available. I did find an interesting article on it but I'm not sure how reliable the post is. Here's the link pretty incredible if it really was that cold in this part of the country.

Http://vincestaten.blogspot.com/2010/02/year-without-summer-year-holston-river.html?m=1

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I think I'm going to make it up Mt. Leconte in the next couple of weeks and check the weather records for this past winter. I think they made it to -17F but I have no clue how much snow they got.

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Since this is winter related and will hopefully stay near the front page, I'm posting this here. I've wondered for years what exactly MRX uses for it's criteria when issuing winter products. I easily exceeded both WSW criteria last February and never moved out of a WWA. I suspected this happened quite a few times but never was clear on exactly what the standards were.

 

 

post-499-0-49918500-1403155901_thumb.jpg

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