Quickly, I want to talk about last night's low in Starkville. It got down to 13 degrees at Doug Gillham's house in Starkville, but only 16 at GTR... I was thinking around 12 degrees, but I did think we had a legitimate shot at 10 degrees. When you miss a forecast, even when it's not horrible, I always like to figure out why I was off. First, the winds never went calm last night! While the winds were low, it stayed around 5mph most of the night which kept temps up slightly! However, the biggest reason why we didn't hit 10, was the snow melt we had on Thursday. Yes, we never got above 32, but the sun still did its work on the snow. This caused the snow to get a lot more wet, and also just added to the water content in the ground. This did two things! First, all this water had to refreeze first during the early part of the night. Freezing is a warming process (I know that sounds weird to many), but the freezing process added latent heat to the atmosphere, which warmed things up a little. Also, all the extra water kept the dewpoints up some, which again kept us from hitting 10 degrees.
I'm glad I was leaning more towards 12 degree than 10 and below, but I still feel like I blew my forecast a little. I should have thought about the snow melt and extra water, but the winds did surprise me a little as I thought they would get near calm for a few hours. Anyways, at least I know where things went wrong, and I'll try my best to not forget that again in the future... Still, 13 to 16 degrees is very cold for Starkville, MS! Tonight will be another fairly cold night with lows in the lower-mid 20's. The winter "flip" is coming soon though, as temperatures are forecasted to be in the 60's by Sunday! Sounds great to me!