Evening update: It’s gonna be a long night

The Storm Prediction Center just issued the 7:00 p.m. update ( a bit early) and it still looks like we are in for a potentially rough night. The greatest threat remains just to our west but actually includes the counties of Putnam and White (enhanced risk). I expect us to go under tornado watches before midnight and we’ll likely remain under those until the early morning hours of Tuesday. Where’s my coffee?……

I just received an update from the NWS Nashville. It’s definitely worth sharing with you all.

“If you’re looking at radar, you may be thinking…”Is this it? Boy, we dodged a bullet!”  Unfortunately, this is not the main show.  Even though we usually breathe a sigh of relief when the sun is setting, this will not help our case/set-up to minimize the severe weather expected tonight.
Current forecast continues to be on track. Since we are closer to the event time, we are much more confident in narrowing down the timing of these storms as they track across Middle Tennessee.
HIGHLIGHTS: 
  • Highest severe weather threat is across most of Middle TN including areas along and south/southwest of a line from Dickson to Nashville Metro to Gainesboro to Cookeville to McMinnville including Lawrenceburg, Columbia, Murfreesboro, and Shelbyville. If we had to pick a least likely severe weather threat area, it would be the Dover/Clarksville area (but note, that threat is NOT zero).
  • Damaging Straight-line Winds and Tornadoes will be the main threats with localized flash flooding also possible.
  • Nighttime severe weather is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! These storms will be moving 40-50mph, so if any tornadoes do develop tonight, they will form very quickly, be fast moving, and people will need to ACT QUICKLY and move to shelter!”

Many folks have been messaging me this evening saying that they are so glad the storms are weakening. What storms? Our storms haven’t even developed yet. Our threat is still several hours away and our atmosphere continues to destabilize.

I’ve been watching the dewpoint rise over the past two hours, which is something I had hoped I wouldn’t see. The higher the dewpoint gets the greater our risk for severe storms. Could we still get missed? Of course. But don NOT go to bed without a reliable weather alert system to wake you up. Or, just stay up.

There have already been some tornadoes in Louisiana this evening and more are sure to come as we go through the night. Our tornado threat here on the plateau is lower than for folks to our west, but it is still high enough to be of concern. We also can’t forget the threat of damaging, straight-line winds. I worry about our ground being so saturated from recent rains. I hope that doesn’t make it easier for trees to topple, knocking out power.

I would prepare for power outages, just in case we have those to deal with.

I’ll be watching it all and keeping you posted. We are still several hours away from any threat as I write this at 6:54 p.m.  Go ahead and have a practice severe weather drill with your family. Make sure you all know what to do if a warning is issued.

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