by Steve Norris, Smith County Insider Weather Correspondent

Summer arrives at 4:44 p.m. Saturday afternoon across Middle Tennessee, and the weather pattern will be just what you would expect for this time of year with partly sunny and hot conditions, high temperatures from the upper 80s to low 90s and a slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. I expect the storm chances to increase to about 50% for Monday and Tuesday.

It is expected to be a hot summer with above normal temperatures from July through September, and our computer models are taking the unusually warm weather all the way through fall and into December. Did you know that at the beginning of Summer we have the longest days and the shortest nights of the year?

Storms this time of year produce lots of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, and while it can be lots of fun to watch the electrical display of a distant thunderstorm, it can be dangerous if you get up close and personal. If you can hear thunder then it is close enough to strike. Count the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the thunder and divide by 5 because it takes sound about 5 seconds to travel a mile. This gives you the distance in miles to the lightning strike. If you count to 10 then the storm is only 2 miles away.

Steve Norris got his first job at 18 years old doing radio weather. Steve does forecasts for several radio stations and newspapers, and he serves as a severe weather meteorologist for some city governments in the Middle Tennessee area. Steve first became interested in weather when his grandfather bought him a thermometer when he was 10 years old. He has been loving weather for over 40 years.

If you need weather data or have any weather-related questions or comments, you can reach Steve Norris anytime at weather1@charter.net.