New data is coming in and that will be fully analyzed in the coming hours. I will post an evening update about that, so be looking for that. That post will likely come at about 7:00 pm.
Severe thunderstorms continue to look to threaten our area on Wednesday and especially Wednesday night. None of us like overnight storms but that is so often the hand we’re dealt. The greatest threat may come from 6:00 pm to midnight Wednesday.
The latest update from the Storm Prediction Center came out at 12:30 and the greater threat inches just a bit closer to our area. Please note that the greatest risk shown on the Storm Prediction Center maps are for the daylight hours of Wednesday. The next day’s threat is then enhanced over in the Carolinas. Some media outlets are reporting that our threat is very low because it will be west of us tomorrow and east of us on Thursday. Well, guess who is in between? I messaged the Storm Prediction Center and suggested overnight convective outlooks. If they had those, it would show us in a greater threat for Wednesday night. Just keep that in mind.
The NWS Nashville is urging the same. Plan now and be ready for rough storms. Even if we have just one bad storm and that one bad storm is in your neighborhood, that one storm sure means a lot to you. There also continues to be the concern that a supercell could develop in southern Middle TN and move this way. That is definitely something to keep a close eye on.
All modes of severe weather are possible, including tornadoes. It still depends on where that warm front gets to as to how severe our weather is. Guidance is still a bit split on that. If it gets into Kentucky, we’re in more trouble. If it stays on us or just to our south, we’re in less trouble. No matter how you slice it, we’re in trouble. It’s just a matter of how much trouble we find ourselves in. Let’s also hope we don’t get any sun tomorrow, as that would add heat and instability to an already volatile atmosphere.
In all honestly, we may not know until tomorrow where exactly that warm front will get to.
Make sure your safe place is ready! I had a tornado survivor to tell me that it’s a good idea to tell people with pets to have the crate ready for them. It’s sometimes better to put your pets in the crate if the weather gets really rough. Being separated from pets after a storm can be agonizing. I think this is most helpful for people with pets who are scared of storms and might run off during the storm. Having them in a crate would keep them from doing that. Maybe make sure there’s room for the pet crate in that safe room? And make sure they have something to distract them, as well. I think some vets even offer medication for pets that are especially storm leery.
Here is a review of that Sunday afternoon post I made. Look over it and make sure you’re storm ready.
- Get a weather radio. Find one at https://amzn.to/3rNHv3F. If you need help setting it up just let me know. These radios are great for waking you up at night, when so many of our storms occur. Use my blog for knowing the forecast. Use the weather radio for getting your warnings. Only the NWS can issue warnings that let you know severe weather is occurring.
- Have multiple ways to get severe weather warnings. Have a weather radio but then have another way to get warnings too. Some recommended apps include the Red Cross tornado app, Baron Critical Weather, or even the Knoxville Weather-WATE app. Have a family member call you if they hear of bad weather. Keep the tv/radio on during threatening weather. I recommend at least two different ways to get a warning.
- Have a helmet. Head injuries are some of the most common and severe of storm injuries. The good news? Many of those injuries could have been prevented with a helmet. Bike, football, Four-wheeler….any good helmet will do! I like the one found here https://amzn.to/3ldaviP. Know where that helmet is before the storm and don’t be trying to find it during the storm.
- Have a plan. Where will you take cover? Does your family know what to do? Practice that plan, just to be sure. If you’re separated, do you have a way to get in touch with family in case cell service fails? Is there a meeting place you have agreed upon in case communication fails?
Remember, get to the lowest level of the house. Get to the center of that lowest level. Put as many walls as you can between you and the outside. The goal is to stay out of flying debris. Stay away from windows. Use mattresses, pillows, etc to add cushion from any flying debris. Keep your shoes on. If a window breaks you’ll have broken glass that you don’t want to be walking on in bare feet. That thought makes me cringe just thinking about it.
Abandon mobile homes and trailers. Find more substantial shelter. Chat with a neighbor who has a sturdier shelter and ask if you can come over if a warning is issued. Have that conversation now. Don’t wait until you’re panicking and banging on their door in the middle of a terrible storm (worse, doing this in the middle of the night). Does a local church offer sheltering options? Find out! Keep in mind that warnings only last about half an hour or so, so I’m not talking about something you would be doing for hours. Just figure out a safe shelter that’s nearby that you can stay in until the storm has passed over.
5. Where are your important documents? After a storm in which a home is damaged, people are often left wondering where the car titles are? Where are those mortgage papers? Social security cards, birth certificates, insurance papers, and so on. Buy a small plastic tote or safe to put those papers in. Better yet, put them in a safety deposit box at the bank. One less worry on your post-storm checklist (and that’s a BIG worry to eliminate!).
6. Are you prepared for power outages? We’ve been through this drill a few times this winter, but check the generator, check back-up power supplies, and so on. I get a lot of good use out of my portable charger. I use it to charge my cell phone when the power is out. You can find the one I have at https://amzn.to/3rOrni6. They make great gifts, too! I highly recommend these.
7. A whistle. This is a newer idea but one that I think very highly of. Wear a whistle around your neck. That way, if you are difficult to find after the storm, you can blow the whistle to alert someone to your location. It can even help family members find you, should you become separated during the storm. This is especially helpful for folks who take cover in basements and then can’t get the door open to get out. If you take cover in your home but then you are hidden under debris, you can blow the whistle to let rescuers know where to locate you quickly. That saves precious time and could even save your life. The good thing about whistles is that they are a very inexpensive way to add just a little bit more to your safety plan…and they could make a BIG impact. Order enough for the whole family with this package of one dozen at https://amzn.to/3rNkpKt. I like that these are easy-to-see neon colors.
8. Distractions for you and/or the kids. Have a notepad with a pen. Have some playing cards. Do something that keeps minds off the weather once you’re in shelter.
9. Have a storm kit. This is something every home should have. A plastic container (waterproof) that contains some bandages, antiseptic (ie. hydrogen peroxide), Tylenol, wet wipes, antibacterial wipes, important medications, and so on). Take it with you to your shelter area.
10. Review severe weather terminology. A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather. You’re watching the weather and the sky for signs of bad weather. A warning means you need to take cover.