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Friday Evening Severe Wx Update (7:00 update)

WHAT: A line of strong to severe thunderstorms with damaging winds (75 mph possible) and isolated, embedded tornadoes.

WHEN: Threat timeframe 6:00 a.m. – Noon Saturday, with the line likely arriving at about 8:00. (Additional storms are possible behind our squall line but it remains questionable as to how intense they will be.)

WHAT: Strong, non-thunderstorm winds from the south. These could gust to 40 mph by morning. Make sure loose objects outside are secure, including holiday decorations.

ACTIONS: Make sure you have multiple ways to get warnings.

–Download the Red Cross Tornado app (note that the app tends to call everything a tornado warning, even severe t-storms warnings, but it has an excellent alarm and goes off nicely for all warnings.) All the Knoxville TV stations have weather apps, too, and I hear they work well, but I don’t have one myself (I have the Red Cross one).

–Make sure the weather radio is working (push the weather button. If you hear the voice clearly the radio is working. If there is static move the radio to a different location. If there’s still static make sure it’s on the station 162.400.)

–Have someone call/text you to make sure you know there is a warning.

–Do not rely on outside sirens. Tornado sirens are great for alerting people who are outside working or playing and not for those inside. They require a human to push a button to send the signal to start it. Both humans & technology can fail here (human could be late, storms could block signal to the alarm).

Just in case something happens….

–Have a helmet to protect the head. Have the kids put on their bicycle, 4-wheeler, football, etc helmets.

–Whistles are good to have. These can help you find each other after a storm.

–Have shoes on when storms approach. No one needs to be walking on broken glass.

–Lowest level of the home, with as many walls as you can get between you and the outside.

–Have something fun for the kids to do. Make “taking cover” fun for them! Maybe read a fun story, color, play cards, etc.

–Abandon mobile homes. They are never a safe shelter.

My concerns remain elevated. Please be aware that storms will be moving at over 60 mph, leaving little time for warning. When the line approaches we need to just take cover and be in our safe place. I lowered my concern earlier today when it no longer looked like storms would come in the dark. That is the only reason I lowered my concern.


The storm system that has been concerning me is evolving into a very dangerous weather situation for parts of the Midsouth tonight. If you have friends or family in any of the affected areas make sure they know about this weather threat. Tornado watches now cover all of West TN and the western half of Middle TN until 2:00 a.m. (yellow-shaded counties). Those particular storms are moving northeast and should not affect the plateau tonight.

The threat for severe storms arrives primarily in the form of a line of severe storms that will threaten us in the morning. Wind gusts to 75 mph will be possible, along with isolated tornadoes. Remember, straight-line winds can be just as destructive as some tornadoes.

We’ve had a cool and foggy day today but don’t let that fool ya. We’ve seen plenty of severe weather events around here after such a day as today. Yes, sunny days make us more unstable, but that applies more to spring and summer storm systems than it does to winter ones. This time of year, we look at warm air moving in from the south. You’ll hear that taking place later tonight, as southerly winds really kick up.

Temps are currently in the low to mid 70s to our southwest. Once our winds pick up, they’ll blow in some of that warmer air. Temps will likely rise overnight.

Some of you have focused on the threat areas drawn by the Storm Prediction center. While they are certainly GREAT at their jobs, they serve the entire country. This means that they are prone to overlook certain things. Remember, we had no chance for tornadoes Monday morning, yet half a dozen tornadoes hit Middle TN that day. We’re unseasonably warm. It’s December. A cold front is coming. We are right to be concerned.

So, pay attention to the weather in the morning. I think we’ll be alright in the overnight hours. I always wonder about rogue supercells that can sneak in but I think that threat is extremely low tonight for us.

Our main threat comes in the morning with a squall line of strong to severe storms. Widespread wind damage is possible, as well as tornadoes.

Could this line weaken and not do anything on the plateau? Of course. I would put that chance at 10%.

Remember, I prepare you. The NWS warns you. Have MULTIPLE ways to get warnings.

If you’re interested in keeping up with power outages, follow this link Scroll over the county to see number of people in the dark. The page must be manually refreshed.

A link to radar can be found at

If you’re not following the blog be sure and find that “Follow” button in the lower right corner of the screen. This will allow updates to go straight into your inbox. In addition, if you are an Android user there is the Meteorologist Mark app you can download. iPhone users will have an available app by the end of January.

Ok. Can I lighten the mood a bit? I have some tornado jokes. You know you want to hear them! 🙂

What did the one tornado say to the other? Answer: Let’s twist again like we did last summer!

What do you call a tornado full of cats? Answer: A Cat-astrophe!


Whatever happened to the cow that was lifted into the air by the tornado? Answer: Udder disaster!

Now, go watch Twister…..AFTER you know you ‘re ready for the storms!

You all take care. I’ll update again at 10:00.

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