Unsettled weather continues

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SUMMARY

This morning we have a weak disturbance passing to our northeast. This has created just enough of a disturbance in our atmosphere to set off some showers on the northern end of the plateau, up around Byrdstown and down to Jamestown. These will slide southeast and, if they hold together, could affect all of us by mid-morning. These are light, with only an isolated chance of a downpour, and they are moving pretty fast. There’s no lightning showing up on them (as of 7:00 a.m.), but they could always produce a strike or two.

After these showers move out we should only have isolated showers/storms the rest of the day. One models is suggested more scattered activity this afternoon but it’s the odd ball in the group. I will say this, with so much heat and humidity around, I’d be prepared for a pop-up shower or storm just any time. The good news is that we are not expecting any organized severe weather today and most of us will stay dry today.

Tonight, a very organized complex of showers and storms will slide down into West TN. These storms will be strong to severe and have the potential to create widespread wind damage around Memphis. Thankfully, the bulk of that is staying well to our west. However, our atmosphere is so warm, humid, and unstable that outflows from this complex will set off showers and storms across Middle TN, and those will threaten us by the early hours of Sunday morning.

Some of those storms could be strong or even severe. I’ll be keeping an eye on it. We shouldn’t see anything like what West Tn will see tonight, but we could have some storms similar to what we had Thursday evening.

On Sunday, a nice cold front moves through. The showers and storms we have from outflows from the West TN storms will get an extra boost from this front. Expect some heavy downpours and frequent lightning. Again, these storms could be strong. That front should push out of here by the afternoon (fingers crossed it doesn’t hang up on the plateau). You’ll know a front has passed through here by Sunday night. Humidity levels will drop and we will have a very refreshing air mass in place for the first half of next week.

Low humidity levels means cool, crisp nights and pleasant afternoons. We’ll be ready for that!

By the end of the week a big ridge of high pressure will really be building over the Plains and spreading this way. We’ll get much warmer and more humid by the end of the week. I’ll have to keep an eye on complexes of storms that may try to ride around that ridge of that high pressure on the Plains, possibly threatening our area by Friday. That’s a typical summer pattern we always have to watch for. And I’ll be doing just that!

I have a very interesting weather fact for ya today! On this day in 1998, softball-sized hail was reported at Allons up in Overton County. This is the largest known hail ever to fall in Tennessee’s history! What is interesting is that Overton County also holds the record for the deadliest tornado in Tennessee’s history (May 10, 1933). That’s odd, isn’t it? What are the chances a county on the Cumberland Plateau would hold the record for the largest hailstone and deadliest tornado for the whole state? It really is incredible when you think about how bad storms get out in West Tn.

After researching the 1933 tornado and reading survivor’s reports and seeing damage photos, I’ve wondered if the 1933 tornado might not have been the most powerful tornado we’ve ever seen in TN. It was rated F-4, and that’s probably accurate, but one has to wonder what we would have given that tornado today, especially with the new EF scale. To date, the most powerfully rated tornado in our history belongs to the Lincoln County tornado of April 16, 1998. That was TN’s one and only ever recorded F-5. It deserved that rating, for sure, but I’ll always wonder if the 1933 Overton County could have equally compared.

You all have a great Saturday!

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