From TennesseeDecember 17th, 2013 at 9:57 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Tues. Evening. Monday morning we left Aurora, Illinois in the AM…heading for Tennessee. There was a significant solid snow cover (4″+) all the way down past the Ohio River. We must have seen over a dozen places where vehicles had spun off into the median from the snow Saturday between Indianapolis and Cincinnati. That’s not counting the spin-offs that got pulled out right away and the snow covered up the tracks. The expressway (going the other way, fortunately) was blocked at one spot where a tanker had overturned in the median. They were trying to pump out whatever was inside the tanker before they uprighted it. We drove into the evening darkness. We passed through a warm front, with the lowering cloud base as we drove south. We hit fog around and just south of Indianapolis. We went thru the warm front around the Ohio River and the temperatures bounced up from the mid 20s to the upper 30s. Despite the warmer air…there were small waterfalls coming off the rock-cuts along the expressway that were frozen. About halfway through Kentucky, we drove into a spectacular clear sky, with the full moon to the east and the bright planet Venus to the west. The full moon made the ice waterfalls sparkle. My wife and I spelled off driving. We managed to find the most expensive gas station ($3.28) with the filthiest bathroom. When we came off the expressway to turn toward Oak Ridge, gas was $2.98. There were five stations along the road within a mile and I’ll bet competition keeps the price low there. Today, we went a couple miles east to Lake Melton, which is the backed up Clinch River. There’s a straight stretch where they have a lot of rowing competition. Last year, I saw a group from GVSU down here. Tonight, we had a nice dinner of shrimp, rice and peas and my (94 1/2-year-old) mother played some Christmas tunes on the keyboard (she performed in USO shows during WWII). The forecast calls for a partly sunny high in the upper 40s tomorrow (Weds.)…a mostly sunny upper 50s on Thursday and temperatures could come close to 70 here over the weekend before the cold air pushes back in again. My mother’s condo area has been landscaped with holly, pansies and other plants that stay green in the winter. I saw several dandelions blooming today. There are quite a few cardinals, bluebirds and robins that provide a colorful addition to the ornamental trees. We walked to the local supermarket to get a few things. We met a very nice elderly man who turns out is a retired scientist from the Oak Ridge Laboratory here. He went to Michigan State and was totally geeked by the MSU football and basketball teams. Gayle and I got mom her membership for the Chicago Botanic Gardens, a gift certificate from the local supermarket here, some flowers and a few food items from Michigan. Mom’s already received a lot (two dozen maybe) of Christmas cards and we looked through those. She has a back porch that faces south and is enclosed on 3 sides. With the full sun and shielded from the wind, you could sit out there today in a sweatshirt and enjoy the outdoors. My mom does not have a computer or connection…so I’m over at my sister’s for a brief time. My sister has two (big) dogs and five rescue cats.