Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast
An unprecedented snowstorm struck the southern Appalachians on this day in 1987. Mount Mitchel recorded 35 inches of snow. Other mountains on the Tennessee/North Carolina border recorded up to 60 inches! Over two feet fell in Charleston, West Virginia, breaking their previous April record by 20 inches!
And guess what? We had several inches of snow on the Cumberland Plateau too! Check out this snowfall map. East TN was hit hard, as well. What a snow! Cumberland County is in the lower left of the screen. The only snow map I could find was by the NWS of eastern Kentucky. That’s why their area is centered on the map. It looks like Crossville recorded five inches of snow.
For many, scenes from the Cookeville tornado in early March reminded them of another tornado outbreak in our area 46 years ago this month; The Super Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974.
During that outbreak, the eastern US experienced a tornado outbreak of at least 148 tornadoes across 13 states. The Upper Cumberlands were especially hard hit. Many of the tornadoes in this historic outbreak were quite strong in nature.
In the height of the outbreak, a supercell thunderstorm developed in southern Middle Tennessee. That storm spawned a deadly F-4 tornado that carved a horrific path of destruction on the southeast side of Cookeville. Ten people lost their lives. Before the tornado last month, that was the deadliest tornado to ever hit Putnam County.
The cell that spawned that twister then moved northeast to Wilder, were sporadic damage was reported. The cell then quickly strengthened and spawned another violent F-4 twister just south and east of Jamestown. That twister claimed seven lives.
To date, these are some of the most powerful tornadoes the plateau has ever experienced. The last strong tornado of that outbreak struck northern Cumberland County, along Plateau Road and crossing Highway 127 North to Potato Farm Road. Despite the destruction caused by that F-3 tornado, no one was killed.
The 1974 Super Outbreak led to tremendous changes in how we get our watches and warnings. The National Weather Service revamped their watch/warning protocols and those changes have likely saved numerous lives in the years since.
Thankfully, strong to violent tornadoes are very rare, especially in our neck of the woods. Let’s just hope for a quieter spring severe weather season!
This is the last light of the day, as the sun sets, on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire on Saturday. What a sight, right?
You all have a great day!
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