I just listened in on a NWS special conference call. I will share what I’ve learned and what I’m thinking for us.
First of all, at 10:30 this morning the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has upgraded parts of West TN to the moderate risk for severe storms. They could see some strong tornadoes out that way. That is level four out of the five severe weather risk categories. As I’ve said in previous posts, the worst of the worst will focus in that red shaded area, with folks in the orange-shaded areas being in a lot of trouble, as well. All of this will consolidate into a fierce line of storms and push east toward the plateau, with all modes of severe weather possible.
Our tornado threat is lower than for those folks out west, but that would be little comfort to you if your neighborhood is the one that is hit. As always, don’t focus too much on the specific lines of the threat areas. Keep in mind, the SPC had us in a zero chance for tornadoes Monday morning and there were six tornadoes across Middle Tennessee. I have seen plenty of severe weather events unfold for us and there be little to no risk for severe storms. It’s unseasonably warm for December in the South and a cold front is coming. That should always rattle our nerves a bit.
Per the latest data, as well as info from the NWS conference call, I have lowered our threat a bit. I have mainly lowered my concern because it no longer looks like storms will be coming in the dark. It now looks like storms will arrive after sunrise. That is always better. I am still very concerned for a big line of storms that will push through with all modes of severe weather possible, including isolated tornadoes. I do not anticipate lowering my concern more than this. We really need to be weather aware from 6:00 a.m. to noon Saturday. Keep in mind that storms will be moving at up to 60 mph, leaving you little time to take cover when a warning is issued. There is the potential for a widespread damaging wind event.
Also, strong southerly winds ahead of this system could lead to sporadic power outages across the plateau tonight and Saturday. Be prepared for that and make sure you can get weather alerts even if the lights are out.
You all take care. I’ll update again this evening at around 7:00.