NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Winter officially began today! The Winter Solstice occurred at 9:59 am. That’s when the sun is at its southern-most point in the sky. It is also the shortest day of the year, in terms of daylight.

So, what is normal winter weather like as far as snow and temperatures are concerned in Middle Tennessee?

Since records began in 1871, the average snowfall in Nashville has been 8.1 inches per year. However, the most recent 30 year average from 1991-2020 has lowered to 4.7″ per year.

The snowiest winter was in 1959-1960 when a whopping 38.5 inches of snow fell.

What might TN expect this winter?

The National Weather Service’s winter outlook for December, January, and February is calling for above-normal temperatures averaged over that three-month period.

It also called for equal chances for above or below normal precipitation for most of our areas, except for slightly above normal in our northwestern sections.

And due to a La Nina continuing in the Pacific, the forecast is hauntingly similar to last year’s, as you can see.

So what happened last year?

Sure enough, temperatures in December and January averaged above normal. but in February they were well below normal. And while we only saw trace amounts of snow in December and January, February brought 5.2″ of the white stuff!

But first, Middle Tennessee faced a major bout with sleet and freezing rain on February 14th and 15th. 3″ of sleet piled up in Nashville.

3″ of sleet on the ground in Old Hickory

In the south and east parts of Middle Tennessee, it was all ice with 1/2″ to up to 1″ of ice clinging to trees and powerlines creating thousands of power outages.

That was followed by 3-5″ of fresh snow the next two days.

So, we’ll see how this year pans out, but even if the forecast for above-normal temperatures verifies, last year proved that you could still see plenty of winter precipitation.