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Sunday Severe Wx Update (Issued at 4:00 pm)

WHAT: A strong to severe thunderstorm & heavy rainfall. This threat will mostly come with a line of storms along a cold front later on.

WHEN: Mostly after 10:00 pm (times keep adjusting upward)

WHEN DOES THE THREAT END? The threat should end by 1:00 am for everyone on the plateau.

NEXT METEOROLOGIST MARK UPDATE: 7:00 pm, or as needed.

The latest short-term models show a strong to severe line of thunderstorms moving toward the plateau after 9:00 pm, weakening as they approach the plateau around midnight. That is a likely scenario, though I will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

I still feel like this is a low-end severe threat for our region. In fact, confidence is increasing that this will be a low-end threat for the plateau. As always, I’ll keep watching this very, very closely for you all.

The latest analysis shows an atmosphere that is very moist and only slightly favorable of severe storms. An increase in cloud cover this afternoon has helped us stabilize a bit more. Wind shear is present for tornadoes but I’m not impressed with that. More often than not, in this type of weather scenario we get heavy rainfall and some strong storms with gusty winds. Could we get a tornado to spin-up? We could but it would likely be brief and on the weaker side of things.

Back to our west, a tornado watch has been issued for eastern Arkansas and West Tennessee. The easternmost reaches of this watch include Nashville. That watch is in effect until 10:00 p.m. The atmosphere there is more conducive for severe storms than ours is. Still, storms are even struggling there, while flooding is becoming an issue for many, many areas.

So, will a tornado watch be issued for us? Maybe, though it will be a watch that is issued to err on the side of caution. The greater threat will be a straight-line wind gust. I wouldn’t be surprised if they issue a severe t-storm watch instead. That’s up to the folks at the Storm Prediction Center.

Like I’ve said before, the atmosphere is supportive of heavy rainfall. It is far less supportive of severe storms. Never the less, we will stay on guard tonight.

So, I’ll keep an eye on things. We are not looking at a widespread severe weather outbreak. Instead, we are dealing with a typical end-of-winter storm threat that bears watching, but is certainly not worth panicking over.

I want to reemphasize the flood threat for tonight. I don’t like it when a low-end severe storm threat overshadows a moderate to high-end flood threat. If you live in a flood-prone area, or near any streams or rivers, you need to have your guard up for heavy rainfall tonight. The latest data shows a very moist atmosphere and that moisture could easily be condensed out as rainfall. Also, if you’re out driving and encounter a flooded roadway, do not drive across it, especially at night. It’s better to arrive late, rather than to end up at Heaven’s gate.

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