WHAT: Strong to severe thunderstorms
MAIN HAZARD: Straight-line winds of 60+mph
WHEN: Mainly after 6:00 pm
I have some good news. The greatest threat for severe weather is trending northward. That is good for the plateau! The latest convective outlook, issued by the Storm Prediction Center, is also shifting threats more to our west and north. Some of you south of I-40 are now downgraded to marginal risk. That’s not to say you won’t be upgraded to slight risk again, but the thing to keep in mind here is that this continues to look like a low-end event for the plateau.
I want to show you something interesting. In the water vapor imagery below, the brighter orange cloud tops are associated with the stronger storms. Notice how they’re moving northeast, but their tops are being sheared off by strong northwest winds higher in the atmosphere. In other words, the storms are moving in the opposite direction of strong winds aloft. That’s the turn in the winds with height that will make the Kentucky and northern TN storms spins today. We’re thankful that those storms are moving away from the plateau.
Never the less, the NWS is about to issue a tornado watch for parts of Kentucky and northern Middle TN, per the latest mesoscale discussion (red-circled area). I don’t expect that to affect us on the plateau but I will keep an eye on that. This watch is for some isolated storms that have developed across western KY and northwest TN (as expected) that will be moving east and northeast, possibly obtaining rotation as they do so.
So far, the forecast is right on track.
If you have travel plans that take you to the Nashville are today, please watch the weather. Locations south of I-40 are looking better all across Middle TN for the afternoon hours. Locations north of I-40 are looking worse, especially west of the plateau. I think you folks in Fentress and Overton Counties will be alright, but I advise you to pay attention to the weather this afternoon.
Tonight, a squall line will move southward and that will bring a damaging wind threat to all of us.
The current radar is shown below. The new convective outlook expands the enhanced risk (orange-shaded region) but it does not affect the plateau. (This is weatherTAP’s RadarLab). Again, notice that the greatest threat is north and west of the plateau.
Don’t forget to have multiple ways to get any watches and warnings that may be issued. I strongly advise having a weather radio as your primary source.
You all stay safe and stay weather-aware. I’ll be watching everything very closely for you all. Again, this is not looking like a major severe weather outbreak for us, but it is something to be mindful of.