A day to be weather-aware

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I’ll keep this as brief as I can, as I’ll be posting updates throughout the day. For those of you getting this from Facebook, keep in mind that unless you go to “Following” and then select “see first” you may not see my posts until days from now, which does you no good today. This is an unfortunate consequence of the new Facebook algorithm.

I will begin by saying that the greatest risk for severe weather continues to be just to the west and southwest of the Cumberland Plateau. That being said, it is far too close for us to find much comfort in this, especially since this is the direction our storms come from.  Storm chances are higher along and south of I-40 than they are north of I-40. But again, that doesn’t mean you folks up around Livingston and Jamestown are out of the woods, by any means. This just means your threat is a bit lower.

Below is a map issued by the NWS showing our threat level. The orange is at an enhanced level, which is the third highest level out of the five categories. Notice it flirts with the western edge of the plateau. The Storm Prediction Center is discussing raising portions of southern Middle TN to a moderate risk in later outlooks today (the next one is at 11:30 and I’ll let you know what they say). Moderate is the fourth out of the five highest risk categories.

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This is the updated timing, though I would suggest being weather aware anytime after 3:00 here on the plateau. You never know when an isolated storm may pop up ahead of all the main action.

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There is the possibility for tornadoes today. There’s really no way to sugar coat this fact. Our atmosphere is destabilizing and that, along with our wind fields out there today, will lead to the development of tornadoes. Some of the tornadoes will be strong. Where will they be? That’s the million dollar question. Let me re-emphasize that the tornado threat is highest across southern Middle TN and northern AL, but we must be watchful of the storms that spawn those tornadoes because they could move up into Cumberland County. Will they still be producing tornadoes when they get here? That’s the other million dollar question. Sometimes our plateau wrecks havoc on these storms and they lose power. Sometimes, as many of you can testify, it doesn’t.  I’ll be watching it all and posting updates, as needed. The good news is that we will have time to track these storms today.

The threat for large hail is quite significant today, as well, especially south of I-40. Some of these hailstones could get quite large, so be aware of that. We have a lot of cold air moving in aloft later today, and that will easily support hail-producing storms.

I will wrap this up by advising that you just be weather aware today. Know what you’ll do if a warning is issued. Don’t wait for the warning to realize you have no severe weather plan. Trust me, I’ve chased enough of this stuff to assure you that if bad weather hits and you don’t have a plan, you’ll be ten times more stressed and anxious.  It’s severe weather season and this is just another one of those days when we have to be mindful of the weather.

And, of course, I’ll be watching it all!

Below is the radar at 8:50 a.m. I’ll be watching those storms that are crossing the Mississippi River and I’ll be watching for any storms that develop out ahead of that line. A severe t-storm warning is currently in effect for one of the storms just south of Memphis.

I’ll let you know as watches are issued.

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