Severe Wx Update (Issued at 7:40)

I wanted to jump on here right quick and let you know I continue to track some strong storms to our west. One has been a persistent storm that developed west of Nashville.

I took this shot of the radar earlier. Composite radar view shows the top of the clouds with that big storm south of Nashville (near center of screen) being blasted off to the northeast. That’s the green streak you see stretching from the storm to near Fentress county. We call those clouds the anvil. In summer, you’ll see an anvil spread out evenly across the top of the storm. This time of year, strong winds aloft will blow those cloud tops off and way. That storm has been persistent since it was in West TN. It was spawning tornadoes over around Jackson but those tornadoes have, of course, lifted long ago. It is still producing some rough weather, though. We’ll watch as it moves closer. It is still about an hour or so away from being a concern of ours. Let’s hope it falls apart.

As we go into the night, we’ll see the low-level jet increase. I’ve mentioned this wind before. It’s about 5,000 feet off the ground and out of the south. These winds are found ahead of storm systems. The winds here at the surface are slowed by the friction of trees, buildings, etc. But, the winds just up above us are not affected by friction. This means those winds higher up move faster. That can increase the “spin” to the air. As that air spins horizontally above us, a result of faster winds blowing in top of slower winds, it may become ingested into a thunderstorms updraft and lead to a rotating updraft. Most of the time, that just means heavier rain, hail, and very gusty winds. But, sometimes that can lead to a tornado.

I’m not sure I’ve said enough about the flood potential. I know many of us on the plateau don’t worry too much about that but if you live in a flood prone area (ie Grassy Cove, etc.) just be aware that we could have issues with high water overnight. If you’re out driving tonight and encounter a flooded road, turn around. Most flood deaths occur at night when people drive across flooded roads.

In fact, two of the most common ways to die in severe in the South include driving across flooded roadways OR riding out a storm in a mobile home at night. Incidentally, most of those flood deaths are men.

As for later tonight…..

Farther west in Arkansas, radar is MUCH more ominous. That is an ominous radar view, indeed. I circled Memphis for reference. Those storms will settle down a bit as they venture across West Tennessee, but they will form into a line of strong to severe storms that we will deal with later.

The greatest danger from this line will be damaging straight-line winds. Remember, straight-line winds can be very dangerous and the damage from them can be similar to that of weak tornadoes.

I would prepare for power outages, just in case. With out saturated soils from today’s rains, it won’t take much wind to cause some trees to fall. Just keep that in mind. I should have said more about the power outage possibilities earlier. You still have time to prepare for that, though.

Have multiple ways to get warnings. Weather radio, Red Cross Tornado app, tv, radio, etc. You might even have a family member or friend to call you if they hear of something coming. If you live in a mobile home be ready to abandon it. You cannot take shelter of any kind in a mobile home.

As you know, I’ll be tracking it all. Don’t forget to make sure indoor and outdoor pets are safe.

Remember, lowest level of the home and away from windows. Helmet on. You’ll use cushions, pillows, mattresses, etc. to shield yourself from flying debris. The goal is to hide from the tornado and the flying debris. Don’t forget to have something for the kids to do (or even you!).

I have a feeling I’ll be back soon to let you know of tornado watches being issued for our area. Stay tuned.

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