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Update on Saturday’s Storms (Issued Fri evening)

Today was just absolutely beautiful. I can’t remember seeing such a beautiful sky as we had today. Even now, the Moon is just an incredible sight.

And yes, this could be the calm before another round of storms.

Before I get started, I wanted to share this image that I shared on Facebook today. If you missed it there I’ll share it here, too. This is a map of all the tornado watches and warnings issued yesterday. Notice how it hit all around the plateau. We live in an interesting place, for sure.

My concern and confidence is unchanged from this morning. I’ll explain below.

I want to begin this discussion by saying that, once again, several of the deaths in Alabama yesterday were in mobile homes. You cannot stay in a mobile home when a tornado is coming, no matter what. Even an EF-0 can demolish a mobile home.

So many have asked about shelter areas in the county and I want you to know that I plan to work toward getting a solution to this problem. Many places don’t want the liability but this is something we have got to address and solve. It wouldn’t hurt if you let your county commissioner know that we need to work on this problem. For those who don’t know, I’m one commissioner of the 18 for our county.

Now, the storm threat….

Tomorrow’s threat comes from a storm system that will swing a stronger cold front through here late Saturday night. Before that gets here, a warm front will lift north on Saturday. That warm front lifting north could set off some strong storms in the morning hours, with hail being a threat with stronger storms.

It then appears we’ll get a break, before more storms come in the afternoon/evening. These could pack a big punch if they can get their act together and you’ll need to be weather aware for them. Hopefully, we won’t get any sun in the afternoon and hopefully our airmass won’t become too warm and humid behind that warm front.

As of now, it looks like our greatest risk for severe storms would be from the afternoon to early evening. Again, it’s those isolated supercells we’ll watch for. If they can’t/don’t develop, we’ll be in good shape. IF those do develop, and that’s a big IF for our area, we would have to watch those for tornadoes. I should have a better idea of our chances of this happening by tomorrow morning.

I should note that the next outlook for severe weather comes at 1:00 a.m. tonight and I will share that on Facebook when that comes out, for those of us still up. The next update after that comes at 8:00 a.m. Saturday. It’s always good to know what the folks at the Storm Prediction Center are thinking.

Then…and you’re not going to like this part….we’ll track a cold front that will make its way toward our area and bring another risk for severe storms. The timing on that? Do you even have to ask? It’s looking like it will get here in the 2:00 a.m. Sunday to 6:00 a.m. Sunday timeframe. Let’s hope that timing changes. Some guidance is saying that front will get here after 6:00 a.m. and I sure hope it’s right.

Ma Nature does know I like to sleep once in a while, right? :/

I should note that we are also under a flood watch from 7:00 a.m. Saturday to 7:00 p.m. Sunday. The NWS warns of 2-5 inches of rain that could fall in that timeframe. Our area has been highlighted by other NWS offices for the risk for dangerous flash flooding. It certainly is a classic “spring flooding” scenario that I’ve seen many times before for our area.

One thing that differs substantially with this system from yesterday’s is that convection (aka thunderstorms) in Alabama won’t save the day this time. That could make a big difference. I do wonder, however, if our own rain won’t stabilize the atmosphere enough to keep us safe? I’m anxious to see tomorrow morning’s data.

Regardless, we should never focus too much on how great the risk is. We should always prepare for severe storms when they are possible. It doesn’t matter to you if Tennessee has 10 tornadoes or one. If that ONE comes into your neighborhood, that’s the only ONE that matters to you.

As of now, the Storm Prediction Center has our area highlighted in the slight risk for severe storms. There is a much greater risk for severe storms west of Nashville, just in case you’re traveling that way. In fact, there could even be some strong tornadoes in West Tennessee.

I can’t lie….it’s tempting to go out there and chase. I actually intercepted my first tornado in Jackson,TN, on Feb. 5, 2008. It was a massive EF-4. Hey, leave it to me to go big or go home! (haha) Seriously, an EF-4 for my first?! smh

This cold front coming early Sunday morning has some chilly air behind it. We’ll even see frost next week from it! Remember, don’t dare plant anything that’s frost-sensitive before May 15 (and even then I tell people to check the forecast first). Our latest frost on record is June 3, 1956!

So, I’ll be tracking everything tomorrow, as you know. Those of you who follow me know what to do. If you all aren’t ready by now then I just don’t know about ya. (ha) HOWEVER, for those of you who are new followers (and there are a LOT of you!), I have some useful tips below.

If you’re new to the area you may need to familiarize with our area. Learn the counties to our west, as that’s often where our weather comes from. Folks in Fentress County always watch what’s coming from Overton County, while those of us in Cumberland watch Putnam, White, and even Van Buren.

Remember, wear those helmets and remember the goal is to shield yourself from flying debris. Use pillows, mattresses, cushions, etc. Make sure the kids have something to do to distract them while you’re in the safe place.

You all take care and I’ll have a full update in the morning! Don’t forget to step out and take a look at that Moon!

3 thoughts on “Update on Saturday’s Storms (Issued Fri evening)

  1. I’ve sent you a message on fb, I’d really appreciate it if you’d respond. I’m not a spammer or anything… it’s a legit question.

    1. Please ask me here. I don’t see anything from you on Facebook.

  2. Hi Mark. We have a cattle show in Pikeville at our fairgrounds Sat 9:30-afternoon…they have an open barn and a tent. Pls give me some good news! Ha

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