Heat, dry weather taking its toll in Middle Tennessee

Posted at 5:18 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 20:11:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Temperatures reached 98 degrees on Monday in Middle Tennessee, breaking a new record for September 30th, as well as breaking a record for most 90 degree days in the month of September as summer turns to fall.

“We are in the first days of fall, so this a little unnerving for all of us," Mary Webber, director of horticulture at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, said about the heat. “Most of us Tennesseans, we like our falls, but we have seen enough of them to know that it’s a gamble.”

Along with being one of the hottest Septembers, this September was officially the driest September on record, leading to drought conditions across Middle Tennessee.

Webber said many plants, whether they've been watered or not, are struggling due to the heat and dryness.

“They’re in survival mode,” Webber explained. “Our turf likes at least an inch and a half of water a week.”

For those looking to keep their grass green and their plants and trees hydrated, Webber suggests watering in the morning before the temperatures rise.

As far as the heat goes, NewsChannel 5's Lelan Statom said while September was record breaking, it has been in stark contrast of what happened earlier this year.

“February was the wettest ever on record as far as that month of February is concerned, right now, this is going to go down as the driest September for Nashville," Statom Said, adding that when you look at history, there's potential for more hot days ahead. “Our latest 90 degree day on record is October 19th.”

While many people have theories about what a hot summer can mean for the other seasons, Statom said that one season doesn't necessarily impact another.

“You can’t really predict the following season based on what’s happening right now," Statom said.

As for the folks at Cheekwood, they've set up for Fall with Cheekwood Harvest, creating pumpkin structures.

Webber said while the temperatures are hot and the ground is dry, they're ready to host people who want to get into the autumn mood, and that Cheekwood itself is in good shape.

“I’ve seen these kind of seasons come and go, and we’ve come out just fine," Webber said.

Cheekwood Harvest lasts until October 27th and features pumpkins, scarecrows, plenty of flowers, and a beer garden on weekends and Thursday nights. More information can be found on their website.