Today will be a wet one, though total rainfall amounts should stay under one half inch for most of us. Drier air moves in tonight, but we have a very weak disturbance coming through Friday afternoon/evening that may set off a sprinkle or light shower. I took it off the 5-day outlook because the chance is less than 20%. Another weak cold front will pass through here Saturday morning, which may bring a few clouds. No precip will result from this dry frontal passage, but winds could become a bit breezy during the day out of the north. Other than that, we should see lots of sunshine. Cooler air continues to filter in here for Sunday and that will knock our temps down a few degrees from Saturday’s high. We should also see some frost Sunday morning, so be aware of that.
Then, a warming trend begins on Monday and that trend will continue through the work week.
In case you’re wondering what the St. Jude icon for Saturday is about, that’s the day of the big race! Thirty thousand of us runners will gather in downtown Nashville to run for one of the greatest causes there is. That’s the one where we had the chili bandito lunch here at TAP and raised my $1,000 goal. The weather looks absolutely perfect for it, thank God! Last year it was dangerously and miserably hot. I nearly passed out with only 1.1 miles to go. I literally blacked out and slumped down to the sidewalk. It was bad. But, I got my sight back and walked the last mile. My goal these days is to not a leave a race in the back of an ambulance. HA! Hey, we all have goals, right?
While there’s no severe weather in our foreseeable future, I am already eyeing the end of next week. Right now, I think the southern Plains are going to get some pretty potent storms. It looks like the potential is certainly going to be there for them to get tornadoes, but it’s the absolute peak of their season now and that would not be unexpected. I also think, at least for now, that the system may be losing its punch by the time it gets here, which would just give us rain and storms. It’s way too early to be making big assumptions but that’s what I’m thinking right now.
Today is the 27th anniversary of a tornado outbreak across the central U.S. At least 55 tornadoes touched down and many of them were quite strong, including one F-5 that hit Andover, Kansas. Even today, you can see where the tornado went (which is often the case with F-5s). The city splits its history into two pieces; before the tornado and after the tornado. This tornado was on the ground for 70 miles and last over an hour. The Golden Spur mobile home park was right in its path and was absolutely obliterated.
When I was in high school I ordered a video series called Tornado Video Classics and this outbreak was featured in many of those videos.
Andover and surrounding areas learned a lot of lessons this day. Though in Tornado Alley, they were painfully/foolishly unprepared for a tornado. They had only one ambulance in service that day, and the town’s only tornado siren had broken and no one ever fixed it. It all came down to the foolish belief that tornadoes never hit where two rivers meet.
Folks, powerful tornadoes don’t care where you live. If they want to visit, they’re going to visit. There’s NO geographic barrier that will protect you.
In the days following the Andover tornado, things got worse. The town called in bulldozers to remove the debris of everyone’s homes, before allowing residents to try to salvage what they could of their belongings. Even today, this remains an example of what not to do in debris removal.
We see things like this too often. Here, a town was located in tornado alley and completely unprepared for a tornado. We saw the same thing with New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and their reckless lack of preparation for a hurricane.
The good news is that Andover is now fully prepared for severe weather. Thankfully, they learned lessons that they have implemented in the years since. They may never be hit again, but if they are they are much better prepared to deal with it.
I’ll leave you with some really good information that I’ve been sharing on our weatherTAP social media outlets. For many of us, the sound of a storm is exciting and welcome. But, for others that sound brings anxiety and fear. Some of you reading this blog right now know what it’s like to fear for your life as a tornado roars around you. Others just get anxious when they hear thunder. The National Weather Service recognizes these anxieties and has put together a website with lots of good and helpful information for you folks. Check it out when you get a chance! https://www.weather.gov/oun/stormanxiety
You all have a great day!