TODAY: STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS IN THE AFTERNOON/EVENING
The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded nearly the entire Middle Tennessee region to an ENHANCED risk for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. At this time, the greater threat area does not reach the entire plateau, but it is way too close for comfort. Most of the plateau is in the SLIGHT risk for severe thunderstorms.
A powerful storm system continues to make its way across the plains this morning. This system is pumping up abundant warm, moist air from the Gulf and that will provide the fuel for storms this afternoon and evening. Some of these will be strong to severe, with damaging straight-line winds the main threat. We can’t rule out an isolated tornado.
I should emphasize that the main threat is indeed damaging straight-line winds. There is a lot of wind energy out there and you can feel that right now by stepping outside. Winds increase with height, so you can imagine how rowdy the wind is above our heads. Any thunderstorm that develops will be capable of pushing those stronger winds to the surface, thereby significantly increasing the risk for damaging winds. Some gust could easily exceed 60 mph.
You know the rule…if we stay cloudy and cooler that will really help us out. If that sun pops out today, you know you need to be on guard a bit more. The key to increasing the damaging wind threat is to get storms that are strong enough to push those high winds above us down to the ground.
I just read an update that stated, from the Storm Prediction Center, that if the sun comes out in Tennessee today, they will increase our tornado probabilities. Let’s hope that sun does not come out.
I’ll be right here watching it all. Currently, a tornado watch is in effect for West TN until noon. We are under a wind advisory for the rest of the day for gusty winds.
Below are some graphics issued by the National Weather Service in Nashville. I think you’ll find these helpful.
A couple of days ago I mentioned a tornado that hit Nashville in 1855. That was nothing compared to what hit the city on this day in 1933! A powerful tornado touched down west of downtown and came barreling right through the middle of the city. Investigating the damage record indicates this was an F-3 tornado. The Fugita scale for ranking tornadoes didn’t come along until the 1970s, so we have to look back at damage records to rank tornadoes prior to the 1970s.
The tornado of 1933 touched down four miles west of town and traveled for 45 miles on the ground. Fifteen people were killed and 45 were injured.
Oddly, on April 16, 1998 another F-3 tornado will touch down four miles west of town and take the exact same path of the 1933 tornado. More on that when we get to April 16th!
Record high: 77 (1967)
Record low: 8 (1960) So many record lows for this month from 1960!
Today’s sunset: 6:47
Tomorrow’s sunrise: 6:49
Today’s day length: 11 hrs 55 mins 53 secs
Tomorrow’s day length: 11 hrs 58 mins 11 secs
One year ago today
Sky viewing conditions tonight: POOR
Moon phase: First Quarter, 51% illumination
The outlook for severe weather updates at 11:30. I’ll let you know if they increase our chances for severe weather. I’ll be watching it all!
So far, the storms are behaving themselves in West TN. The concern is that heat from the day will cause these storms to intensify across Middle TN this afternoon. Fingers crossed the storms stay tame!
I’ll be updating!