What: Strong to severe thunderstorms
When: Main threat timeframe looks to be midnight Friday to noon Saturday. Please stay tuned for timing updates! A few rounds of possible storm activity complicate exact timing at this time.
Main Threat: Damaging straight-line winds with a squall line. Isolated tornadoes are possible.
Concern: Storms coming at night and moving very quickly. Warnings could come with little or no notice.
Action: Keep cell phones charged and turned on, make sure weather radio is on, have someone call/text you to make sure you know of bad weather. I recommend the Red Cross Tornado App. The downside is that it tends to call everything a tornado, even it’s a severe t-storm warning, but it’s a really good app about going off for warnings and being loud enough to hear.
Remember, I prepare you. The NWS warns you. Do not rely on me as your only source for warnings. Have multiple ways to get warnings.
My concern continues to increase. Fast-moving storms at night that will tend to be severe is a concern, for sure. Make sure you have your severe weather safety plan in place.
Strong southerly winds will continue to increase ahead of this storm system on Friday and Friday night. Sporadic power outages are likely, especially if you tend to see these outages in your neck of the woods. Make sure you can still get weather alerts if your power is out. Make sure holiday decorations are secure.
The following are some good safety tips! Remember, have a helmet to protect the head. Injuries to the head are far too common in severe storms and many of those could be prevented by wearing a helmet. Keep your shoes nearby. This is one of the most common pieces of advice given by storm victims after a storm passes. If glass were to break you don’t want to be walking on that with bare feet (I always cringe typing that). I also recommend everyone having whistles. If you were to need to be found, blowing a whistle could make that process a whole lot easier and quicker!
Make plans now to leave mobile homes. They are NEVER a safe shelter. NEVER. Most storm fatalities in the South are from mobile homes. Find sturdier shelter or it could cost you your life. You are literally 15-20 times more likely to die in a storm if you seek shelter in a mobile home. Even “weak” tornadoes can kill you in a mobile home.
Abandon the upper floors of a home. Winds increase dramatically with height in a tornado. That means the second floor is at a much higher risk for being damaged or destroyed (we saw this with the Baxter tornado in 2020).
Now is the time to prepare. Don’t wait until storms threaten and then try to throw together a plan. Things can get chaotic very quickly when storms threaten. The power may go out, which puts you and your family in the dark. Things get scary fast. Having a plan that everyone knows makes this situation FAR less stressful!
No severe weather threat is ever a guarantee and forecasts can certainly bust. But, let’s prepare for the worst while we hope for the best. We need everyone to be here and safe and sound for Christmas! 🙂
Also, keep in mind that storms are expected to be much worse across West Tennessee and the western half of Middle Tennessee. Just because you hear of rough weather out that way, that doesn’t mean it will be as rough here on the plateau. If you have family or friends across Middle or West Tennessee, take a minute to make sure they know of this storm threat. People are often especially busy this time of year, or have the holidays on their minds, and aren’t thinking about bad storms.
I’ll keep a very close eye on things. Stay tuned and take care.