The rain and storms have now moved off the plateau and are moving into the valley.
I will have a write-up later on today or tomorrow about what happened in the overnight hours. To say it is a bizarre weather scenario is putting it lightly. This emphasizes, once again, the importance of owning a NOAA weather radio. That is your most reliable source of information, especially during the night.
Our hearts go out to all those dealing with storm damage and loss of life this morning. The latest death toll is officially at 5, though I’m already hearing that it may have risen to 7 now. The light of day will help with search and rescue. I just hope the numbers don’t rise any further.
I’ve said many times during forecasts that it only takes one storm. How true that was last night. From the initial touchdown from that supercell west of Nashville, it is 150 miles to Cookeville.
As I had mentioned in earlier posts, the greatest risk for severe storms was back over toward Nashville. The greatest risk for tornadoes was even farther west than that. Nashville had a 2% chance for tornadoes last night. Cookeville had a zero percent chance. That was from the experts at the Storm Prediction Center. Obviously, the atmosphere had other ideas.
The damage is severe and I fear this will be one of the most powerful tornadoes we’ve seen in many years in Tennessee. I also fear it will be one of the deadliest. All from one single storm.
Even with temps in the upper 40s and lower 50s, the supercell charged across northern Cumberland and southern Fentress Counties. I haven’t seen hail like that in many years. My house was hit hard. I just knew the windows would break. It took 2 hours for all the hail to melt. The wind was like that of a supercell, followed by the hail and lasting only a short time. It bothers me how close we came to having our own disaster.
Who would have ever believed a supercell in this environment would track so far? The storm was still tornado warned when it got to Knoxville! It finally dissipated in the roughest terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. Even then, it fought to survive.
How did this happen? I’ll have a big write-up either later today or tomorrow about it. It’s always important that we learn as much as possible from such events.
For now, let’s be glad this system is gone. And let’s be ever mindful of how quickly our lives can change, even in the dead of night.
You all take care.
I’ll have full blog update out within the hour.