National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A slow moving upper level storm system brought several rounds of winter weather to much of Middle Tennessee from December 8, 2018 through December 10, 2018. A mix of rain and snow fell early in the day on December 8, with light snow accumulations in some areas. Additional rain spread across Middle Tennessee late in the day on December 8 and continued into the morning hours on December 9. With temperatures near or below freezing across northwest and northern Middle Tennessee, this rain fell as freezing rain generally along and north of a line from Waverly to Joelton to Lafayette, with ice accumulating as much as 1/4" on elevated surfaces like trees, power lines, and cars, as well as a few bridges and overpasses. The weight of the ice brought down several trees, tree limbs, and power lines across Stewart, Montgomery, Dickson, Cheatham, Robertson, and northern Sumner Counties, resulting in scattered power outages for up to 20,000 customers. Lesser amounts of ice also accumulated further south across Houston, Humphreys, Macon, and extreme northern Davidson Counties. The ice also led to several traffic accidents in the Clarksville area.

After a break in precipitation later in the day on December 9, another mix of rain and snow developed across the southeastern half of Middle Tennessee during the night from late on December 9 into the morning hours on December 10. Areas on the Cumberland Plateau received anywhere from 1/2" to 2" of snow, while locations west of the Plateau only received a light dusting (Lawrence County), a trace of snow (Cannon County), or just rain (Rutherford County).

Finally, as the system exited the area on December 10, very cold air moved into Middle Tennessee, with low temperatures dropping into the upper 10s and lower 20s by the morning of December 11. With some ice and snow still present and plenty of low level moisture available, dense freezing fog developed across many areas especially along rivers and lakes such as the Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Duck River, Caney Fork River, and the Obey River. Where freezing fog occurred, ice crystals within the fog attached to nearly all surfaces, resulting in amazing and beautiful winter scenes despite their no precipitation falling.

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