The average temperatures in 2022 were above the normal temperatures in East Tennessee, but there were record cold temperatures reported on Christmas Eve, the National Weather Service said.
The number of cold hours around Christmas in late December might have seemed long, but it was not a record-breaker, the NWS said.
“The arctic front that ushered in this outbreak of cold weather moved through during the early morning hours on December 23,” the NWS said. Between then and the end of the cold streak, several locations recorded more than 100 consecutive hours at or below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Wise, a city in southwest Virginia north of Tennessee’s Tri-Cities, reported 107 hours below freezing, the NWS said. That’s equivalent to about 4.5 days. Oak Ridge was below freezing for 106 hours and Knoxville for 104 hours, both also close to 4.5 days.
The NWS said the longest cold streaks on record for the Morristown coverage are in the range of six to 10 days, depending upon the site.
The high of 22 on Christmas Eve was the coldest on record for the high temperature in the Knoxville area that day, going back to when records started in 1871, the NWS said. The low of 4 on Christmas was the third lowest on record for the low.
The high of 14 in the Tri-Cities on Christmas Eve was the coldest on record for the high in that area.
Wind chills that dropped down to -10 were the coldest in a widespread area in decades, and Christmas Day was in the Top 10 coldest at all sites, the NWS said. The temperatures in the region were generally the coldest in seven to eight years.
Still, overall temperatures for December ended up being near normal. It was 0.6 degrees below normal in the Knoxville area, and 0.6 and 0.7 degrees above normal in Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities, respectively.
Average lows were above normal in all three locations, ranging from 0.1 to 0.9 above normal, and precipitation was also above normal. Snowfall varied.
The NWS said 2022, the full year, was the snowiest in Knoxville since 1993, as measured at McGhee Tyson Airport, with 12.3 inches recorded.
Average temperatures were above normal in the three East Tennessee metropolitan areasâ€”Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Tri-Citiesâ€”with a range between 0.4 and 0.9 degrees above normal. The highest temperature of the year was 95 or higher at all three locations. Precipitation was close to normal for the year across the area, the NWS said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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