Friday, December 09, 2005

The weather oddity

It has been said by me and others that East Tennessee is a weather oddity. Knox County and the counties that immediately surround it lay in the Tennessee River Valley, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the east and the well-elevated Cumberland Plateau to the west. Weather systems often slow over the plateau and the mountains, but will speed right through the valley, or even go around it, and thereby avoid gaining forward speed. This "hole effect" usually spares Knoxville any serious snowfall during the course of any given winter.

There is already no small debate developing among the local weathermen as to whether today's atmospheric situation was caused by the speed with which today's weather system raced through the valley, or whether the worst of it just went around us, but while Asheville and Charlottesville have snow today, Knoxville has not a flake.

I am inclined to believe the worst of the system did go around us, because not only do Asheville and Charlottesville have snow, but Interstate 75 is closed from Williamsburg (KY) to Jellico Mountain (for those of you that don't know the area, Jellico Mountain is the Tennessee state line).

The same weather system that just brought us some rain early this morning, brought six inches of snow to Cincinnati, and 7-9 in many parts of Southern Indiana. Washington got dumped on this morning, and reports indicate that the capital has slowed significantly, if not outright stalled this morning. I'd be willing to wager that today's scheduled Congressional session will be delayed, or at least committee hearings will be postponed.

While much of the rest of the east is digging out this morning, life goes on as normal in East Tennessee.


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