Alberto is spinning off to the north this morning, but he has left behind a lot of warm, humid and unsettled air. Alberto developed in the Caribbean and it has displaced a Caribbean airmass on us. This is providing plenty of fuel for showers and thunderstorms. As the heat of the day increases, that will only add to the instability. Therefore, expect off-and-on showers and storms to be with us all day long and into the evening.
The graphic below shows “Alberto” spinning off to the north, while leaving behind a very tropical, unstable airmass.
By tomorrow, we will have a disturbance that will be sliding in from the west. This will create favorable conditions up in the atmosphere for storms, while taking advantage of this abundant heat and humidity here at the surface. The atmosphere is the engine that runs the storms, but the fuel is found here at the surface. Tomorrow, these two will be running hand in hand and we may have some potent storms on our hands. The main threat looks to come tomorrow evening, with large hail and damaging straight-line winds being the main threats. At this time, the tornado threat looks really low.
This is the threat map put out by the Storm Prediction Center for Thursday. The slight risk for severe storms extends to the plateau. Of course, I will be here watching it all and I won’t go offline until the threat has completely passed. For those of you reading this on TapTalk, you can catch me at https://meteorologistmark.com/ and on Facebook after hours.
On Friday, a weak cold front will drop in and that will kick of scattered showers and storms. Some of these storms could be strong, though it looks like we will lack the atmospheric support for widespread severe weather.
Any showers or storms that develop over the next several days will be capable of producing torrential downpours of rain and isolated flash flooding.
Saturday looks good, though we certainly can’t rule out an isolated shower or storm. Later in the night, we’ll have a disturbance rolling in here and I’ll have to keep an eye on that for some strong storms. Models this morning are wanting to delay that complex of rain until Sunday morning. I’ll keep watching it. Sunday’s forecast depends on how quickly this disturbance moves out. Stay tuned.
The main feature this forecast period is the complex of storms that will threaten us from the west tomorrow. It looks like storms will fire off in Missouri tomorrow morning and then organize and move southeast. They will have plenty of fuel to work with (heat and humidity) and upper-level atmospheric support should be sufficient to produce widespread showers and storms, some of which will be severe. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some impressive hail reports over portions of western Kentucky tomorrow.
Our main threat will likely be straight-line winds from these storms. If they are weakening when they reach us, that will really help us out! If they’re not weakening when they reach us we could be looking at some damaging winds.
The next time period of interest may come late Saturday night. I’m not as confident today as I was yesterday in this complex of storms, but I’ll see what model runs today look like before completely dismissing the possibility of late-night storms for Saturday. As I mentioned in the summary above, models are trending toward bringing in the showers and storms Sunday morning. Our atmosphere would be much more stable by then, and that would limit severe potential. I’ll definitely keep an eye on this and let you know how this evolves.
Yesterday, the severe weather was well to our west on the Southern Plains. My buddy Dakota Maynard was out chasing in Oklahoma and sent me this pic he took of a rain-wrapped tornado. If you look close enough (and just to the left of the tree), you can see it behind the rain. What a pic! If that doesn’t make you want to go storm chasing, nothing will….. Look at that sky! And that wide-open space….. (insert chase fever).
Speaking of tornadoes, today is the anniversary of the first recorded tornado in Tennessee. I wrote an article for the Fentress Courier about and I’ll share it with you all right here. I’ve shared it with you before, but I’ll share it again since today is the anniversary of that.
You all have a great day!
The First Tornado
The first documented Tennessee tornado was recorded 188 years ago this spring. The tornado hit the city of Charlotte, located just west of Nashville, on May 30, 1830.
Tennessee’s history with tornadoes got off to a rough start with this one. The city of Charlotte was forever changed and weather on this May day changed Tennessee history.
The first courthouse to be built in Tennessee was built in Charlotte in 1810. The original courthouse was built from logs, but just a few years later the log structure was replaced with a two-story brick one, a symbol of the thriving local economy.
Twenty years later, the courthouse would find itself right in the path of a very destructive tornado. By the time the storm had moved on, nearly every building in Charlotte was in ruin, including the courthouse.
In fact, the roof of the courthouse was found 13 miles away! Every public record for the county lay across the countryside, and most of the courthouse’s documents were never recovered. Books that were in the courthouse were found for miles away.
This was not the only destructive tornado in this event. Shelbyville was also hit very hard by a separate violent tornado and the city was described in newspapers as being “a heap of ruins.” Nearly every home, business, and church was destroyed in the center of Shelbyville. A book from the town was found seven miles away.
In the days following the Charlotte storm, the city ordered the courthouse to be rebuilt and by October 1830, a new brick courthouse was standing tall in Charlotte. The courthouse is still in operation today, making it the oldest operating courthouse in the state of Tennessee.