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Baldwin’s Sunday Story Wx Blog for May 17th

Weekend Edition

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Weather Headlines

A very unsettled pattern emerging for the coming week

The first named storm of the 2020 tropical season has formed

Main threats

The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Cumberland Plateau in the MARGINAL RISK for severe storms for Monday afternoon, as a cold front passes through the area. Widespread severe weather is not expected. Just be aware that one or two storms could be strong/briefly severe, with gusty winds, cloud-to-ground lightning, and heavy rainfall.

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Baldwin’s Severe Wx Concern

The main threat may be heavy downpours of rain in some of the storms. Still, we can’t rule out a damaging wind gust.

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The pattern beyond Monday does not favor severe weather.

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Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

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Daily Forecast

Today: Continued warm, with a chance for showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon and evening. Scattered showers and thunder continue into the overnight hours.

Monday: More showers and storms as a cold front moves through the area. Some of those storms could be strong to severe in the afternoon.

Tuesday – Thursday: An upper-level, cutoff low will sit over our area for a few days. This means cooler temps, partly to mostly cloudy skies, and scattered showers and thundershowers (mainly in the afternoon).

Friday: Rain chances drop to “slim”. Warmer.

Saturday: Sunny and warmer.


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Yesterday’s National High and Low Temperature

High: 105 at Rio Grande Village, Texas

Low: 15 at Copper Basin, Idaho and Peter Sinks, Utah

Difference of: 90 degrees


Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Two areas of heavy rainfall will affect the country. One is across the Midwest and the other across Mississippi. Strong to severe storms will accompany that flood threat across Illinois, Indiana, and western Kentucky. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Arthur spins off the Southeast Coast.



Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Heavy rainfall will threaten the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys on Monday. Tropical Storm Arthur will threaten the eastern shores of North Carolina.



Tropical Storm Arthur is spinning off the Southeast Coast of the US with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph this Sunday morning. The storm has prompted the issuance of Tropical Storm Watches for the eastern coast of North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.



On this day in 1979 Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii reported a low temperature of 12 degrees. This is the all-time record low for that state. Mauna Kea is at an elevation of nearly 14,000 feet.

Hawaii is the only state whose lowest recorded temperature is above zero.

Sunday Story

Carried Away 

Tornadoes are intriguing weather phenomena. Their winds are capable of some of the most intriguing feats.    

Even in the most powerful of tornadoes, heavier objects typically don’t travel too far in the violent winds. They’re picked up, thrown, and land within about half a mile or so of the twister. Other, lighter objects may travel much, much farther.

In the Cookeville tornado in early March, debris was found as far away as southern Fentress County (Clarkrange) and northern Cumberland County (Rinnie). That debris consisted of pictures, a car title, and a piece of vinyl siding. The pictures were returned to a family who had lost a loved in the tornado; a precious treasure for them, for sure.

As the bird flies, that debris traveled about 30 miles. While that’s incredible, that’s not the farthest debris has ever been carried by a twister, by far! For instance, in 1915 a violent Kansas tornado carried a cancelled check 210 miles. 

That record was broken in the Super Outbreak of 2011 by a tornado that occurred in northern Alabama. An EF-5 tornado there obliterated everything in its path, even stripping up 25 feet of pavement on a highway! One piece of debris, a family picture, was finally dropped from the sky over Lenoir City, Tennessee, about 220 miles away. 

A tornado’s updraft can be over 100 mile per hour. That wind easily carries light debris upward. Recent studies using Doppler radar have shown that debris weighing less than one pound can be carried as high up as 20,000 feet up into the sky in the most powerful tornadoes. There, the debris may end up in the winds of the jetstream and travel many, many miles. 

As one researcher stated, “The debris can’t talk but it sure does have a story to tell.”

You all have a great day!


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