Smith County Weather Report- July 15th, 2021

July 15, 2021

by Steve Norris, Smith County Insider Weather Correspondent

We have another weather system expected to move into Middle Tennessee by the end of the week. Showers and thunderstorms will become likely again for the weekend with highs from 85 to 90 which is below normal for this time of year. I am expecting above-normal precipitation and below-normal temperatures through the 22nd of July.

The first 11 days of July brought 5 inches of rain to portions of Rutherford County and two to three inches here in Smith county. Many of the thunderstorms over the next week are going to produce some very heavy downpours, so it looks like we’re going to come out of July with some high rainfall totals.

Looking back… On July 9th, 1988, Lebanon toped out at 105 degrees. On July 12th 1980, an incredible heatwave gripped Middle Tennessee with temperatures as hot as 108 degrees. On July 13th, 2004, we had thunderstorm winds gusts to 67 miles per hour in Nashville and damage was reported in every Middle Tennessee county

Did you know that  heat lightning is actually lightning from a very distant thunderstorm? Back before radar came along, folks would see lightning flashing in the sky on a hot night and they would think “well there’s no clouds so I guess it is heat lightning”. When you see it , there is a thunderstorm somewhere, lightning can be seen from a storm 100 miles away on a clear  summer night. The old wives’ tale that a hot, humid   night can generate lightning without a thunderstorm, called “heat lighting,” is exactly that–a meteorological myth. Heat lightning is just normal lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for you to hear thunder.