WHAT: Strong to severe thunderstorms. All modes of severe weather are possible, including tornadoes.
WHEN: Wednesday and Wednesday Night (much of the day and all night)
NOTE: The greatest threat will likely come after dark.
First things first, let’s begin with an update to my level of concern and confidence in that concern. Both are now high. Also, I’m aware that some other local/social media outlets are downplaying the severe weather threat. I want you to err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
One reason my concern is high is because the more widespread threat comes after dark. It’s always more complicated dealing with storms in the dark.
You remember the two scenarios I painted in last night’s blog? Scenario number one was the better scenario, where we stayed along or north of the warm front and, while there would be a severe weather threat, it wouldn’t be as widespread or intense. Scenario number two was the one where the warm front gets into Kentucky, placing our region to the south of the warm front and in the more humid and unstable air. The risk for severe weather was greatest with scenario number two.
It now looks like scenario number two is going to be the hand we are dealt.
That means we will be weather aware on Wednesday and into the night. It could be a long day of weather watching. I’ve told you in previous posts what you need to do. Make sure you do those things. Also, remember this website https://www.ready.gov/plan has some really good tips!
Get your severe weather plan figured out now. Don’t wait until the storms are here. Also, do NOT plan to stay in a mobile home. You MUST not do that. There is nothing (absolutely nothing!) you can do to stay safe in a mobile. Call your neighbors with well-constructed homes and/or basements NOW and arrange for to go there if/when a tornado warning is issued, even if that happens in the middle of the night. Remember, a warning only lasts up to an hour. Just find a place to hang out during that time.
Day Time: The warm front will lift north in the late morning hours. Any of the storms with this front could be strong to severe. Some of the rainfall could be heavy. This will likely be in the 10:00am – 2:00pm timeframe, though timing could change.
Nighttime: (10:00pm – 5:00am): Overnight. This threat comes with a powerful cold front and it is in this timeframe that we are most at risk for a tornado and damaging straight line winds.
A rare “high risk” is expected to be issued for northern Mississippi and northern Alabama in tonight’s outlook for tomorrow. The Storm Prediction Center issues that outlook at midnight tonight. That rare high risk may reach into southern Middle Tennessee.
While it’s true the worst of this severe weather outbreak will likely be to our south and west, that’s little comfort to you if you find yourself in the path of the one we might have here.
Get the weather radio ready. I think they still have some at Walmart in the electronics section. I’ve given you links to Amazon in previous posts to get one there for future severe weather events. When you take cover, make sure you place as many walls as you can between you and the storm. Wear those helmets. Keep your shoes on. For other tips, see other posts I’ve made or go to https://www.ready.gov/plan.
As always, prepare for power outages, just in case high winds take down some power lines.
I’ve also realized some of you may not know our surrounding counties. Little good it does to know what county is under a warning if you don’t know where that county is. I’ve attached a county map below and I highlighted our area. With most severe weather events, including tomorrow’s, we are always mindful of White and/or Putnam Counties because that is the direction most of our storms come from. In Fentress County, you worry about Overton County.
Remember, tornadoes are a rare event and the chances of you encountering one are very, very small. Never the less, it’s still very important to be prepared for high winds, just in case.
Keep it right here and I’ll keep you informed and updated. I also give the “All-Clear” when threats have passed.
Finally, if I didn’t love storms I probably wouldn’t be a meteorologist. I’m absolutely fascinated by tornadoes and have been since I was a kid. I also like to see them out on open plains where nothing is bothered but grass and dirt. I don’t like these storms when they threaten the communities that I love.
I taught a weather class for the kids last evening at TCAT. That went so very well! Those kids are definitely ready for spring storms. And check out the goody bags TCAT left for us! How cool is that? Stay tuned for next month’s weather class for kids at TCAT!
You all take care and I’ll have a full update in the morning. For now, just prepare. It won’t be the last time you’ll need to prepare for storms this spring.