Monday, February 6, 2023

Warmer, drier fall in Tennessee, experts predict


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Story by Maddy Williams | Contributing Writer

October in Tennessee often consists of rainy days, but this year, fall is looking warmer and drier, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA predicts that a large area of the U.S. will experience a warmer and drier fall season. 

The NOAA could not predict U.S. rainfall for this fall, but La Niña may cause drier conditions. Drought will be worse in the western United States than on the East Coast, however.

La Niña causes sea surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean near the equator to be cooler than normal, which impacts weather patterns across the globe.

Predictions for Fall 2022. (Image provided by NOAA)

According to the National Weather Service outlook, there’s an 80% chance that La Niña will continue through November.

Extreme dry conditions sometimes cause wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center predicted Oct. 1 that the south-central U.S., which includes parts of Tennessee, may potentially experience more wildfires.

The Great Smoky Mountains typically bear the worst of Tennessee wildfires, with one of the most recent extreme events occurring in 2016.

Predictions for Fall 2022. (Image provided by NOAA)

These fires started the day before Thanksgiving on the Chimney Tops Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Juveniles playing with matches during extremely high winds caused the fire, according to WYMT.

Another extreme event happened in March of this year. The Wears Valley community in the Smoky Mountains experienced a wildfire that spread to nearly 4,000 acres, according to Sevier County officials.

Dangerous winds and dry leaves caused this wildfire, damaging over 100 structures.

Predictions of a warm and dry October can lead to the event of a wildfire in the Tennessee area this fall.

To contact News Editor Matthew Giffin and Assistant News Editor Kailee Shores, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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