published Friday, February 24th, 2012

Changing Chattanooga weather ties record high

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    WRCB Channel 3 meteorologist Paul Barys is seen in this file photo.
    Photo by Robin Rudd

An unseasonable 78-degree day graced Chattanooga on Thursday tying with 1987 as a record high set for the date.

Although weather that warm is not normal for this time of year, wild swings in temperatures are, said Sam Roberts, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn.

“We haven’t started the transition to spring yet, but we’re right on the cusp,” he said. “March is usually the transition month, and we still could see some cold weather.”

Record highs can actually be foreseen by looking at the jet stream, WRCB-TV Chief Meteorologist Paul Barys said.

“If it’s flowing southwest, it warms up. If it’s flowing northwest, it cools down,” he said.

The rest of the week will cool down. However, the temperatures will be far from cold, with high temperatures dipping into the mid- to upper 50s and low 60s before reaching 70 again next Wednesday, Barys said.

All of this will prepare for a transition to spring that he said will be a “war zone.”

“The next 10 to 15 days could be quite stormy with some strong thunderstorms,” Barys said.

While the nice weather is easy to enjoy, plants have a hard time surviving in unseasonably warm weather.

“I’ve seen some plants that have already started to bloom early,” Roberts said. “If they bloom too early, they can be killed if there’s hard freezing again.”

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