published Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Chattanooga: Cold to follow soggy weather


by Elizabeth Ryan
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Tim Barber Brian Smith, left, and Lindsey Czerniawski, of Clarksburg, Tenn., walk along Broad Street at Seventh in a steady rain on Thursday. The two are here for a Future Business Leaders Association conference being held Thursday and Friday at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

In the wake of this week’s thundershowers, a wave of cold air will rush into the Chattanooga area early next week, according to David Glenn meteorologist with Newschannel 9.

Another round of storms is expected Sunday afternoon, before temperatures plunge into the 40s by Monday, he said.

“There will be some lingering rain showers and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some flakes mixed in there, especially at the higher elevations,” Mr. Glenn said.

Temperatures will continue to fall below freezing Tuesday, he said, with another light freeze possible on Wednesday morning.

Factoid: Average date of the last freeze: April 5

Source: David Glenn, Newschannel 9

Forecast

Friday: Clouds, Breezy and Cooler High/62 Low/43

Saturday: Partly Sunny and Nice High/73 Low/49

Sunday: Late day thunderstorms High/71 Low/46

Monday: Breezy and Colder, light rain High/49 Low/30

Tuesday: Cloudy and Chilly High/49 Low/30

Wednesday: Partly Sunny and Milder High/62 Low/43

Source: David Glenn, Newschannel 9

Turbulent weather is common this time of year due to shifts in the jet stream, according to Derek Eisentrout of the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn.

“This time of year you can really expect anything,” he said. “You can go from these 70-degree days, wonderful and warm outside, and then you can get a freeze the very next week after a strong cold front goes through. It’s kind of hard to predict.”

Gardeners whose plants have blossomed during the early symptoms of Spring can protect against next week’s frost by piling mulch around the roots of their plants or laying down frost cloth, said Andy Mason, a garden associate at Lowe’s Garden Center on Gunbarrel Road.

“Most of the time, it’s not going to get that cold, even with a cold snap. Mainly if people just have plastic at home, or some old sheets, they can just cover it up and prevent the frost from getting to everything. And normally this time of year that’s enough.”

The average last freeze for the Chattanooga area is April 5, Mr. Glenn said, with frosts possible until mid-April.

Strong storms across Tennessee produced heavy rain, flight delays and reports of a tornado Thursday, The Associated Press reported. There was property damage but no immediate report of serious injuries.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Cohen in Nashville said the agency received a report of a possible tornado at 4:06 p.m. CDT about seven miles east of downtown Nashville.

The Weather Service has not confirmed it was a tornado, but trees were reported blown down in the same area.

A suspected tornado also damaged a North Alabama trailer park but apparently caused no life-threatening injuries, the AP reported.

Morgan County Emergency Management Agency assistant Rita Weeks said the mobile home park at Lacey’s Springs was struck by violent winds Thursday evening, damaging 20 to 30 trailers. She said there were reports of minor injuries but none life-threatening.

Heavy rain has led to the closing of schools in 20 Georgia districts and part of Interstate 75 in south Georgia, the AP reported.

Small creeks and streams, along with numerous streets and underpasses also flooded Thursday after two days of rain up to 8 inches.

The Associated Press contributed to the story.

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