WHAT: Strong to severe thunderstorms.
TIME: 3:00 pm – Midnight Thursday (timing could change)
THREATS: Large hail, flash flooding, damaging straight-line winds, & isolated tornadoes.
FLOOD WATCH: Starting at 1:00 am tonight and expiring late Thursday night. Two to four inches of rain possible.
Our current risk level by the Storm Prediction Center is enhanced, with moderate just to our southwest.
This is serious. I don’t know how else to say it. This is one of those spring severe weather threats that we’re liable to remember. A tornado outbreak is now looking likely across Middle Tennessee. Some of the tornadoes could be long-track, strong tornadoes. It is not out of the question for one of those to make its way onto the Cumberland Plateau.
Be weather aware tomorrow afternoon and evening. I wish I could tell you the exact time you’ll be under threat, but with an atmosphere as volatile as ours will be tomorrow it’s not possible to say when something might happen.
It is safe, it seems, to say that we should be fine until at least 3:00 pm.
One round of rain and storms is expected in the morning. Some of that rainfall could be heavy and there could be some hail from that activity. That is the warm front lifting north. Warm fronts are notorious for producing heavy rainfall and some hail. This first wave of precip is not what we’re so worried about.
The second round comes later in the afternoon and evening.
Since this is mostly a daytime/early evening event, it will matter how much sun we get in the afternoon. The more sun we get, the warmer and more volatile the atmosphere becomes. Thursday is a day we do not want any sunshine.
Storms will be moving fast tomorrow. In fact, some storms could be moving as fast as 70 mph! That may cause some warnings to not go out in time, especially if numerous severe storms develop at once. Make sure you can take cover quickly.
Don’t compare this threat to last week’s. Trust me, it’s not the same at all. Last week, we were missing a mechanism to “lift” our air. With a screaming jet stream overhead, that is not the case this time. We also stayed mostly cloudy and rain kept our atmosphere more stable last week. Will that happen again tomorrow? It is looking unlikely, but not impossible.
WHAT TO DO?
Review your severe weather safety plan. Interior room, away from windows, lowest level of the home. Get those helmets on. Use cushions, pillows, mattresses…anything that shields you from flying debris. Your goal is to hide from the flying debris.
Everyone has their whistles. Everyone has their shoes on. The pets have room in your safe place? Make sure! Remember the checklist below:
I’ve also been told by tornado survivors that it is helpful to take pictures of each room in the house. That can really help out with insurance after a storm. That could come in handy for anything you might need insurance for! That could even come in handy if someone breaks into your home and steals things you can’t remember having.
Prepare for power outages. With so much wind energy in the atmosphere tomorrow, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see widespread power outages. I have my portable chargers charging and I’ve made sure all my batteries are fresh. The generator has gas and I’m ready.
For me, I have a short list of things to do when a bad storm is nearing my home. Grab this, grab that, and GO! I recommend you do the same. Some people put together a kit within a plastic carry tote that they put in their safe place. It has what they feel they need to weather the storm.
HAVE MULTIPLE WAYS TO GET WARNINGS! Download an app (Red Cross Tornado app, WATE-TV 6 weather form Knoxville has a good one too). Have someone call/text you. HAVE A WEATHER RADIO.
Have something to distract the kids. Maybe take a pack of cards, a notepad with pen, electronic devices, etc. Something to keep the kids calm.
Know where you are on a map. Are you north of I-40 or south? Are you in northern (insert county) or southern? What community do you live in? All of this will help you out.
Know that Putnam and White Counties are to our west and southwest and will likely be the direction storms come from.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issues five levels of risk. The lowest is the marginal risk, then slight, then enhanced, followed by moderate. The highest level is “high.” They issue these risk levels for “day 1”, which is today, then “day 2” which is tomorrow and then “day 3”, which is the day after tomorrow. They then issue a “day 4-8” outlook, which is rather new. The 5-category system replaced the 3-category threats seven years ago. The 3-category consisted of only slight, moderate and high. It was simple and many of us miss it.
Since the SPC first introduced its 5-category system, there have been only 22 days when a moderate risk for severe storms was outlined in the Day 2 convective outlook. That represents 0.94% of all those days. Three of those 22 days have taken place over the last 9 days. One of those days was today and that moderate risk nearly reaches the Cumberland Plateau.
Yesterday, winds of 110 mph were measured at Cascadel Heights in the mountains of central California. What does that have to do with us? Those are winds within the jet stream that are on their way to us tomorrow. As I said earlier, with an absolutely screaming jet overhead tomorrow, our storms will have little trouble becoming strong to severe.
I have a good problem. I have a LOT of people following me for weather. In June of 2017, I had 410 people read my blog that entire month. That was when the blog began. Last month, my blog was read 63,102 times. I have more than 11,000 blog overs and nearly 15,000 social media followers across various outlets. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to answer everyone’s messages. I just can’t keep up with all the comments and messages like I used to. Thankfully, nearly all of those questions are answered in the blog. I work hard on this blog and I don’t have time to repeat myself elsewhere.
The info I pass along tomorrow will be primarily found here, in the blog. I’ll still announce blog updates on social media but your main source of info will be here.
That is why it is important that you follow the blog and get updates emailed to you. Then, set your phone to notify you when you get emails. It’ll be like getting a text. If you don’t know how to do that, Google will likely be able to help ya out.
I’ll have a full blog update in the morning. More data will come in tonight and we can hope things take a turn for the better. Things look rough now but that can always change. I’ll be watching it all very, very closely tomorrow. Count on me to track it all.
Remember, I’ll also give the All Clear when all is said and done. I look forward to that moment.
Please remind anyone you know who is camping this week that we have rough weather coming.
You all have a good night.