An interesting forecast

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SUMMARY

For today, we’ll see lots of clouds and some showers. Temps will stay mild for one more day but a very strong cold front is on the way. As that front passes through tonight, we could hear some rumbles of thunder, but there will be no severe weather. Rain could become heavy at times, and we should see at least an inch of rain from this system. After the front crosses the plateau tonight, temps will fall into the low to mid 30s across the plateau. This will cause any leftover moisture to change to a rain/snow mix or even over to light snow. It looks like temps will be in the mid 30s across most of the plateau. If some spots can dip to freezing, some of the snow may accumulate to a dusting or so on grass, etc.

The chilly, damp airmass will remain in place for Saturday, with highs struggling to get out of the 30s. Showers will still be possible. The weather begins to improve on Sunday, with some sunshine and warmer temps. That weather comes ahead of our next system that will bring more clouds and showers for our Monday.

DISCUSSION

Below are two maps I made this morning showing today’s hazards. The winter storm watch for Kentucky has been downgraded to a winter wx advisory, but the severe storm threat across the lower Mississippi River Valley has been raised to a level 3 out of 5.

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Once again, TN finds itself in the middle of the battle of the seasons. We have the severe weather to our south, and the snow threat to our north. We’ll have a thunderstorm or two, followed by some snowflakes. Neither should be significant, but because we’re sandwiched between the two of both worlds, we’ll get just a taste of each.

And, of course, I have a race tomorrow in Lynchburg, TN. When I signed up for this last year I just knew I’d have a beautiful spring morning to run in . April 7 is notorious for nice weather. I worried it might rain but I never once thought about worrying about FREEZING TO DEATH! (haha) Good grief. This has the potential of being the worst weather race I’ve ever ran (and there’s been some doozies, folks).  I can’t forgo the race. Only a certain number get to do it and I made that cut. Plus, I get a nice hooded t-shirt, socks, a cap and a medal carved from a Jack D barrel! (ha) So, I’ll be heading out at 4:00 a.m. for Lynchburg, keeping my eyes open for any snowflakes.

If you get any snow, be sure and take pics!

Next week continues to look cool and unsettled.

I wrote an article for the paper this week about an April that was anything but cool. April of 1974 started off very warm, with record highs for many folks in the eastern U.S. In fact, this warm weather had gotten started early and March had been quite warm as well. On April 1st, a storm system developed in the southern Plains and brought a severe weather outbreak to the southern Plains that extended all the way to West TN. The front associated with that system stalled across the Southeast. Meanwhile another storm developed in the lower Mississippi River Valley a couple days later that would change the landscape of numerous towns and communities across the eastern U.S., including many here on the plateau  The combination of an incredibly warm, humid airmass, a super active jet stream, and strong cold front all combined to produce a severe weather outbreak that would remain unsurpassed for 37 years. My article on this was published in this week’s paper. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great weekend!

April 3, 1974: The Super Outbreak 

The worst tornado outbreak ever witnessed in the Upper Cumberlands occurred 44 years ago this spring, on April 3, 1974.

At least 148 tornadoes touched down in 13 states that day. Tennessee was one of the hardest hit states, with the Upper Cumberland region experiencing three violent tornadoes, along with several other weaker tornadoes.

The strongest tornado to ever strike Fentress County occurred during this outbreak. The tornado touched down near Wilder and tore a continuous path of destruction for 20 miles across the county. The twister smashed four subdivisions in Jamestown, destroying nearly 50 homes. Seven people lost their lives, while another 150 people were injured.

A weaker tornado, rated F-2, struck extreme northern Fentress County and quickly moved into eastern Picket County. This tornado also cut a path of destruction 20 miles long.

Yet another violent tornado, also rated F-4, touched down in eastern Picket County and spent a large portion of its life hugging the Fentress/Picket Country border. This tornado cut a 19-mile long swath of destruction that claimed five lives.

Overton County was also hit hard by tornadoes. A strong F-3 tornado tore a path of destruction 13 miles long, claiming three lives and injuring 120.

Putnam County was hit by a powerful F-4 tornado that claimed 10 lives. This tornado first touched down in northwest White County and stayed on the ground for 32 miles, nearly reaching the border of Fentress County before lifting.

Northern Cumberland County was hit by an F-3 tornado that hit along Plateau Road. No one was killed, but the storm’s 15-mile long path injured 28 people.

Violent tornadoes like we experienced in this outbreak are very rare for the plateau. To get as many as we did in just one day is truly historical. Let’s hope we never see anything like this again!

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Xenia, Ohio F-5 tornado, April 3, 1974

 

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