Category Archives: Nashville weather

I Blame Al Gore

We woke to snow showers in Nashville this morning. And yes, I blame Al Gore. You see, he’s speaking at Belmont University this afternoon and I have a ticket to see him. And it just seems like whenever Al Gore speaks somewhere and the calendar says winter, there’s a weather event. I remember several years ago Mr. Beale and I were in New York City one winter weekend and Al Gore was in town to give a climate change address. Wouldn’t you know, a massive arctic front descended from Canada and gripped the city in snow and single-digit temperatures. Mr. Beale and I got some pictures for our Christmas card in Central Park and then spent the rest of the trip indoors.

So, I don’t know what kind of karmic baggage Al Gore is carrying around but I’ve half a mind to suggest an exorcism.

Anyway, I’m just hoping the snow will be gone by this afternoon when the event begins. I know it’s pathetic, but we just don’t get much snow in Nashville these days so when we do, it’s a big deal. Let me remind you of this picture from 2010; no, Nashville doesn’t know how to “do” snow.

Yesterday I promised some photos of the snow, so without further ado:

Oh Say Can You See...

Oh Say Can You See…

Snow Showers

Snow Showers

Jolene Bird Watching

Jolene Bird Watching

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The New Normal

The calendar says June. The map says Nashville, Tennessee. The thermometer says Phoenix, Arizona.

Yesterday it was 109 degrees in Nashville. I shit you not.

Did I mention it’s still June? Hottest day ever on record. Today is not much better. In fact, for the foreseeable future Nashville is expected to be 100+ degrees. If this is June, then August is going to be positively brutal.

When I was a kid, we used to visit my grandmother in Palm Desert, California every summer. I remember more than one July Fourth in the California desert that was as hot as Nashville is this weekend. In fact, Nashville’s temp this weekend is the same as Phoenix, Arizona.

So here we are. We’re becoming a desert. Get used to it. Sure, the record we’re breaking was set in 1952, but we’ve been breaking daily records for decades. Hey remember that awful August of 2007? When people died from the heat? And that was August.

And 2010 was so bad, I was blogging about record-breaking August heat and the strange critters it had drawn out into the land of the living.

So, welcome to the new normal. I’m trying to make peace with it. For one thing, the super hot and dry temperatures have wrecked havoc on our nastier pests: chiggers and mosquitoes. The little fuckers don’t stand a chance in this climate. Winning! Also, for the past few years I’ve nixed stuff like impatiens and opted for hardier Lantana, which can handle extreme heat and drought. Last winter, believe it or not, my Lantana wintered over. First time that’s ever happened.

Some Like It Hot

On the other hand, I’m desperately trying to save my Viburnum, which have just the sweetest smelling blooms in spring. I’m losing. I’m afraid the koi are going to boil alive in the pond. And what was I thinking when I cut down some trees shading the garden? I know: I was thinking my plants needed more sunshine. Damn, I’d give anything for that shade now.

So, folks, you can pretend climate change isn’t real all you want. Pass all the bills you want allowing you to teach that the dinosaurs just missed Noah’s boatlift and climate change is a liberal plot. That doesn’t change the facts and that doesn’t mean it ain’t happening. It just means you’re stupid.

Personally, I’ve been with the “it’s too late, anyway” camp for a while. We can’t reverse this. We could have if we took action a few decades ago, but not anymore. I’m sure when things become too obvious for even wingnuts to ignore they’ll blame Democrats — that’s what they always do. Might I suggest they cool off at a nice, air conditioned movie theater — perhaps one showing Phil Valentine’s climate change denial movie?

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Filed under climate change, garden blogging, Nashville weather

Take Your Mild Climate And Shove It

Forbes came out with another one of their stupid lists and this one ranked Nashville #3 among upcoming “boom towns.” The reason Nashville placed so high?

Two advantages Nashville and other rising Southern cities like No. 8 Charlotte, N.C., possess are a mild climate and smaller scale. Even with population growth, they do not suffer the persistent transportation bottlenecks that strangle the older growth hubs. At the same time, these cities are building the infrastructure — roads, cultural institutions and airports — critical to future growth. Charlotte’s bustling airport may never be as big as Atlanta’s Hartsfield, but it serves both major national and international routes.

Mild climate? Says who! It’s not even the middle of the month yet and it’s like the gates of hell. 100-plus degrees and 40 percent humidity, which means it doesn’t even cool down at night. It is positively intolerable. We’ve had floods and snow storms and ice storms. It’s miserable here. It’s nice for two months in the fall and that’s it.

No wonder everyone is batshit insane here, our brains are fried.

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Filed under Nashville weather, Tennessee

Snowmygawd

Good morning, Nashville!

Please do not try to drive up or down my street. It will seriously fuck you up. Thanks!

Love,

SoBe

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>Grumpy

>Man I hate this weather. It snowed last night … AGAIN!! I’m so OVER it, already. I left Southern California for this? God.

This is Nashville and we don’t get this kind of snow. At least, we haven’t in the 26 years I’ve lived here. Cripes. But this is two winters in a row, now. Apparently we’ve hit some kind of milestone. I mean, shit. If I’m going to have to deal with snow and ice every damn winter I might as well live somewhere that also gives me universal healthcare and a strong social safety net. Oh, and a population that appreciates professional hockey! I mean, Jesus. This fucking sucks.

I hate this because I know it means the hellacious summer we experienced last year (which prompted this grumpy dog-days-of-August post ) is going to return as well. And don’t think we’ve seen the last of the flooding, either. We are Nashville! We’re gonna get wet! Oh, we might not get another weather penis, but I predict this spring will see some pretty hellacious rainstorms. Just a guess. Hey, better stock up on those pumps and Shop-Vacs now, folks. Thank me later.

This is one reason I laugh when our idiot legislators decide the road to riches for Tennessee is to lure retirees. I mean, I have nothing against retirees — I aspire to be one some day, after all — but this isn’t the first time someone decided what Tennessee needs to do is compete with Florida and Arizona for the retiree market. Yessiree, resource-sucking seniors are just dying to get a load of this sucky climate: snow and ice in the winter, unbearable heat and humidity in the summer. Basically this place is livable four months out of the year. If you’re looking for the ideal place to spend your sunset years, this ain’t it.

So with everyone snarking about how Al Gore is fat and all, I’m reminded of the hissy fits this Hollywood blockbuster spawned a few years ago. It actually suggested, in a Hollywood blockbuster way, that global warming could cause extreme winters! Crazy, I know! But true! Might be something to add to the Netflix queue since it’s too damn cold to leave the house.

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Filed under climate change, Nashville weather

Weather Penis


Nashville’s NewsChannel5 weather dude Charlie Neese had an interesting take on the storm which, er, slammed Nashville a few months back.

Don’t know how I missed it. Even better, I learn about it from the Giant Bellevue Beaver Facebook page. Something about a dead body initially believed to be human but, in fact, that of a giant beaver. Good grief but Nashville is a weird town.

Because you can grow up but you can never get out of junior high.

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Filed under media, Nashville weather, WTVF

>I, Too, Demand My Constitutional Right To A Syndicated Radio Show & Other Thoughts

>Constitutional scholar Sarah Palin tells Dr. Laura to not retreat, reload!

Which should make today a fun one on the internets.

Meanwhile, as the nation focuses on the circus sideshow, Nashville is preparing for a repeat of its floods of three and a half months ago. Hopefully we won’t be looking at our fourth 100-year flood in 40 years. Climate change, much? The New York Times connects the dots (although some of us did that a few months ago):

Dr. Meehl, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told me in an interview that the “fairly small” average warming in the earth’s temperature, about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution, can be expected to lead to “much more noticeable changes in the extremes” of heat and cold.

“Physically, you’d expect to see more record heat events and fewer record cold events,” he said. “That’s what we are seeing.”
For those intimidated by scientific papers, a simpler write-up on the issue can be found here. And Dr. Meehl is also on YouTube talking about the findings of his research.

Here’s the video:

Conservatives who deny climate change are a lot like Sarah Palin discussing the Constitution: they do it with very little real understanding of the subject matter, lots of false assumptions and politically-motivated finger pointing, and a hefty dose of oil industry backing. They don’t need to prove anything, just sow enough doubt in peoples’ minds that it undermines any real effort to change anything so we can keep sucking on the bones of dead dinosaurs.

Hmm … maybe the Constitution really does guarantee me a right to a nationally-syndicated radio show! In which case, my first program can be about climate change.

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Filed under climate change, Dr. laura, Nashville weather, Sarah Palin

Nashville Is Hell

And when I say “hell” I do mean that in the Hieronymous Bosch sense of the word. Holy mother of all flaming cauldrons but it’s hot out there: 8 pm as I write this and it’s 95 degrees! Daytime temps exceeding 100 degrees until Thursday. Every time I go outside it’s like being flayed by a flaming cat o’ nine tails.

You know, I grew up spending my summers in Palm Desert and Joshua Tree. I know what 125 degrees feels like. My mom spent her summers in Death Valley. We are hardy people where heat is concerned; when you grow up knocking around places named Furnace Creek and Badwater, you’re not a thermometer wimp.

But this … this … this is something else altogether. This is quite literally what it must feel like to be sealed in a plastic bag and stuck in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.

And what the fuck is this crawling across my lawn?

I Named Him Pestilence

It looked like the mother of all wasps, as big as my thumb, with thick yellow stripes on its fat body. It was crawling around in the grass like it was looking for its wallet.

I also have a platoon of ants marching across my driveway. They came out of a crack in the pavement I didn’t even know existed, a slowly spreading stain which, when I bent down to examine it, revealed that … Oh my God! IT’S ALIVE!!!! By this morning it was gone. I guess the heat has brought all the nasties out of hiding; even they know when it’s this hot, it’s time to head somewhere else.

And to make matters even worse, the pump on my pond blew and the replacement I ordered is a lemon. The motor is jammed, so until a replacement comes via UPS, my poor fish are slowly boiling alive in water that feels like a piping hot bathtub.

Add to this the loveliness that is our wackadoodle contingent racing each other to the bottom to be the Republican candidate for X, Y, Z office and all I can say is: beam me up.

I am definitely not doing another summer in Nashville. No way, no how.

This sucks.

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>After The Deluge

>

Downtown Nashville, May 2. Photo by Keith Gallagher. See more of Keith’s amazing images here.

We awoke to sunshine.

A sight for weary eyes all across Nashville, let me tell you.

This morning Mr. Beale reminded me that when we were house hunting 10 years ago I out-and-out refused to look at any home that had a creek anywhere nearby. Which let me tell you is a helluva lot of houses around here.

I had forgotten that. My old house near Vanderbilt always had water in the basement whenever it rained (indeed there was a drain in the floor for just such occasions), and that always scared the crap out of me. So we ended up buying a house on a hill with a massive storm water sewer drain behind it, something Public Works had installed years before.

Saved our bacon, let me tell you.

Some general thoughts on the Great Nashville Flood of 2010: Nashville really came through. As we’ve seen with ice storms, tornados, and other natural disasters, when the going gets tough Nashville pulls together. People put their differences aside, the petty squabbling that seems to dominate our regular discourse is discarded, and neighbors start helping one another. People with boats, canoes, kayaks–hell, the news even showed one kid on a surfboard–headed out into the rain to rescue stranded people. Okay, not sure what the kid with the surfboard was doing, but you get my drift.

Nashville, I know I’m hard on you, but you really made me proud. This is why I love you.

And Nashville you also did a great job of keeping people informed. Videos like this one helped bring the news of this disaster to people who had no other way of getting information on the severity of the flooding:

Once again I was amazed at the value of online tools like Twitter to keep me informed. Our local news media: not so much.

For most of Saturday we had Doppler radar color blobs dominating the local news. Let me tell you: a Doppler radar color blob and Lisa Spencer yammering on about “rotation” in some far-flung corner of the viewing area is not helpful. I’m glad our news stations have the money to spend on fancy gadgets like this but from a viewer’s perspective it really is not informative to us. It should be a tool you folks use to determine where to dispatch your reporters.

There was news happening on the ground, actual people stranded in buildings and culverts and cars floating away on I-24 and it took a long time for you guys to catch on to the fact that this is what you should be covering. Not a red blob on a map headed to Waverly or wherever.

Nationally, the news media has been a big fail. Aunt B wonders why we’ve been ignored, and I have to say this is yet more evidence that our glorious 24 hour news is incapable of covering more than two stories at once. Between the Gulf Oil spill, the thwarted Times Square car bomb, the Arizona immigration bill, Nerdprom, and Greece going bankrupt, it seems the poor dears in the national news media were just too tapped out to give any attention to a major metropolitan city drowning.

Again, this proves the value of the internet, and why new media is eclipsing old media in terms of actually informing people.

By the way, over in comments at Aunt B’s was this from Mike Turner:

Just got off a 24 hour shift, my crew at station 3 rescued 148 people and 1 dog in the last 24 hours. There were probably well over a thousand rescued city wide and it’s still going on. The TWRA guys were great, I don’t know what we would have done without their boats.

A hearty round of applause, hugs, beers all around, you name it to Nashville’s tremendous firefighters, EMTs, police officers, and every agency that worked their asses off this weekend. You guys are amazing. We are so grateful to have you. Thank you, thank you.

It will be interesting to see what if any changes the city will experience after the storm. I wonder if people will rethink where they live, where we allow development. I wonder if the great hole downtown where the Music City Center will be is now a giant swimming pool?

I wonder if we will still have our county elections tomorrow, since the voting machines are stored at the Fairgrounds and that was basically a river as of last night?

On a larger scale, I wonder if we will see this storm, not as a freak incident, but rather a sign of what’s to come? An acknowledgment that the earth isn’t some static, dead thing but rather a living system. That things like watershed, mountaintops and forests all serve a purpose, part of which is to protect us from floods and winds and lessen the severity of storms?

Nashville is not out of the woods yet. I just heard that we have some neighbors missing, and we are very concerned for news about them. Down the street from us the Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter and there are hundreds of people who have nowhere to go. Nashville still needs to pull together to get through this mess. Prayers and, as Aunt B notes, some national attention are needed.

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Filed under media, Nashville, Nashville flood, Nashville weather

.. And Oh My God

This is the quintessential “Nashville snow day” shot. Unfortunately this is my neighbor. Apparently they missed their driveway … by a lot. Thank God they also missed their fire hydrant.

Meanwhile, the cat has still not returned. I know he’s a bigamist — he has at least one other family, maybe two. Perhaps he’s asleep in someone else’s living room. I guarantee you I am in big trouble with Mr. Beale for letting the cat out, though.

[UPDATE]: The prodigal feline has returned. Shhhh…. don’t tell Mr. Beale I let him out in a snowstorm. It will be just between us.

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