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Friday afternoon update

I have good news. The latest data indicates that our severe weather potential for Saturday night is even lower now. As meteorologists (and I’ll keep this simple), we split the atmosphere into various levels to analyze. But, if you keep it really simple, we divide it in half. The bottom half is from the ground to about 18,000 feet up, the other half is above that. That pretty much splits the part of the atmosphere where weather happens in half. We all know conditions are ripe for severe weather down here. My goodness, we’re 74 degrees right now at 2:20 p.m. And we have pretty high moisture levels too. All good for storms. However, you must have favorable conditions in that second, upper-most half in order to get robust thunderstorm activity. And it’s the second half that will likely save us from big storms. Never the less, we do still need to be mindful that we could have some strong storms.

I’ll have a complete update in the morning at, as well as on Facebook (Facebook/thunderchaser).

I also forgot to include some pics I took at home this morning. The one of the branch is a peach tree, ready to bud.

You all have a great evening and a wonderful weekend.


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Strong storms possible Saturday night



Before we talk about storms, check out that weather out there today! It is absolutely beautiful outside. We can’t rule out a stray shower this afternoon and evening, but I’m not sure that will even happen. That shower chance is at about 20%. We’re currently 64 degrees and I think we could top out at 75 if we can keep this sunshine going strong. Tomorrow, rain and storms begin to threaten. If you have outdoor plans, try and get them done by noon. Stronger storms may move in later in the night and even Sunday morning. The greatest threat of severe weather will be to our west and the tornado stuff will stay well to our west, over West TN. Still, we can’t completely let our guard down, as we are incredibly warm and humid and it won’t take much to get a storm a bit rowdy. Rainfall amounts should generally stay between 1-2 inches. After the front clears us, we’ll see a drop in temps that will take us closer to seasonal normals, though we’ll still be above normal. We will remain in an unsettled pattern, so showers may still be possible on Monday. We get a break Tuesday before our next big rain maker moves in here the middle and end of next week.

Below is the threat map put out by the NWS for Saturday. The storms move east overnight and should weaken as they do so. Never the less, we should still keep an eye out for strong storms.



The main focus for this forecast period is centered around the storm chances Saturday night. Folks, it looks like we are really going to dodge a bullet with this one. It’s unusual to be in February and be running 20+ degrees above normal for high temps and not get a severe weather outbreak. That will happen to our west across West TN and Mississippi. If I were still at MSU I’d be gearing up to head toward the Mississippi River tomorrow to chase. The flood plain (the Delta) is so flat and you can see forever. They not only have a decent chance for tornadoes but also the possibility for some strong tornadoes. That could have easily been us, folks.

Temps will drop behind the front, but we’re still not looking at any sub-freezing temps for overnight lows. We may see some frost Tuesday morning, but I don’t think we’ll freeze. The rest of February is still looking pretty good, as far as mild temperatures go. With mild temps like this we’re going to have to be mindful of severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center is already highlighting an area of concern from West Tn down to Louisiana for next Wednesday. That will move closer to us on Thursday.

Which reminds me! The last time I went to Florida to see the satellite you all got snow and I missed it. It was one of the only little skimpy snows we got and I missed it. Now, watch you all get some really good storms next Thursday while I’m down there for the launch! If you all do, I’m never leaving this plateau again! haha

And yes, I’m “over the moon” excited about seeing this launch!! See what I did there…”over the moon” (ha). The launch is a week from yesterday. I’ll be watching it from the closest vantage point you can watch it from, the Kennedy Space Center. I’ve been told we’ll be able to feel the ground shake when it takes off. How freakin cool is that!? Do I have the best job or what? 🙂

Back to the weather…. With all this talk of storms it is the perfect timing for Tennessee’s severe weather awareness week. Both the Fentress Courier and Livingston Enterprise printed an article I wrote about it. They each published the story this week. I will be posting interesting tid-bits here throughout the week, in addition to the information provided by the NWS on each day’s topic. Every day features a new topic concerning severe weather. Let’s all make it safe and soundly through another severe weather season.

I am also very happy to report that I just got sent a pic of TDOT working on highway 127N just north of the Plateau Rd/Potato Farm Rd intersection. The culvert collapsed under the road there some time ago and it was the most dangerous spot you’ve ever seen when it rains. After bugging TDOT to the point that they asked me to stop, they finally agreed to fix it! (ha) For those of you who travel that way to go home, there may be some hold ups, as they have to drop it to one lane to repair the culvert. But, when they’re finished we don’t have to worry about getting killed driving through flood water! They have a nice day to work on it!

You all have a great day and I hope you enjoy my article about severe weather awareness week!


Severe Weather Awareness Week (Feb. 25-Mar3)

By the end of February, our thoughts start turning to spring. We have had a lot of cold and cloudy days this winter, and we are now ready to exchange those days for warm and sunny ones!

As we know, this is the time of year when the cold air from the north begins getting pushed away by the warm air coming up from the south. As this battle moves northward, with the changing of the seasons, different regions of the country find themselves in the airmass “battle zone”, so to speak.

In a typical year, the Cumberland Plateau finds itself in the battle-of-the-seasons from March to May. Keep in mind, however, that severe weather can happen any time of the year.

In preparation for the peak of our spring severe weather season, the National Weather Service will be having severe weather awareness week from February 25-March 3. Each day will focus on a different aspect of severe weather.

Feb. 25 — The important role of SKYWARN spotters

Feb. 26 — Flooding and flash floods

Feb. 27 — Lightning, the underrated killer

Feb. 28 — Tornado safety and preparedness (a statewide tornado drill and NOAA weather radio  test will be conducted at 9:30 CST, weather permitting)

March 1 — Severe thunderstorms

March 2 — NOAA weather radio and the emergency alert system

March 3 — Importance of social media

The National Weather Service has information on each of those topics at I will also be sharing info on each topic, as well as some additional info relative to the plateau, each of those days on my blog at!

Hopefully, this severe weather season will be easy on us. Remember that it’s always better to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best!


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Afternoon update: A dry commute home

RAD_KOHX_N0R (1)vvv

The latest radar is showing a large gap in the rainfall that should keep us dry most of the evening. Showers and storms are moving into the valley at this hour, away from the plateau. An isolated pop-up shower can’t be ruled out  the rest of this evening, but the more widespread rain has moved on.

We have picked up exactly 1/3 of an inch of rain today.

Chattanooga hit 81 degrees this afternoon. This is an all-time record high for the month of February for the city. Our high in Crossville was 68, which occurred at 10:37 a.m., just before rain moved in.

Enjoy your evening and I’ll have a full update on Saturday night’s storms in the morning. Data today continues to show the strongest storms staying west of us Saturday night. I’ll keep you posted.

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Some wild weather out west this morning!



We’re dodging some rain showers this morning, and we’ll continue to do so through the day. We may even hear some rumbles of thunder. Our low temp last night was 63 degrees here in Crossville, which is about 15 degrees warmer than our high temp should be! As I came into work there was a rainbow over Crossville.  Tomorrow should be a drier day than today and we should see some peaks of the sun. That sun, along with southerly breezes, will take us into the mid 70s. A potent cold front moves in Saturday night, with strong thunderstorms and heavy downpours of rain. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted areas to our west for the risk of severe weather Saturday evening and night. Temps and rain chances fall behind that front, but we’ll still be slightly above seasonal normals for temps.

Severe weather outlook for Saturday evening. The Cumberland Plateau is in the marginal risk for severe weather, as the line of strong to severe storms is expected to weaken as it approaches our area. I will keep an eye on this.



Our weather is tame compared to what is happening out west of us this morning! The slow-moving cold front has made its way through northern Texas and that has dropped temps below freezing. However, warm and moist air is trying to stream up and over that arctic air and that is causing quite the mess! They have the risk of freezing rain, along with thunderstorms, some of which could become severe. In fact, a severe t-storm warning was just issued for a county near Wichita Falls, where they are below freezing but with a thunderstorm producing one-inch hail and nearly continuous cloud to ground lightning. That’s some wild Texas weather, folks!


Speaking of wild weather, our weather may get a little rowdy around here Saturday night. We can’t say we haven’t seen this coming. It’s February 22 and it feels like it’s May outside. A cold front will move in during the evening Saturday and will be accompanied by a potent line of strong to severe thunderstorms. The good news for us is that it will arrive in the overnight hours, when the atmosphere is coolest and most stable. Therefore, we’re not looking for too many problems around here, though we will certainly get some heavy downpours, gusty winds, and lightning. I’ll keep an eye on this and make sure our severe weather chances don’t increase.

The severe threat is much higher for West Tennessee and places south and west of there. While the Storm Prediction Center has placed them in the slight risk, they are discussing upgrading that threat in later outlooks, depending on what models show in today’s model runs.

At this point, I’m looking for a line of strong storms to cross the plateau late Saturday night, with damaging straight-line winds being our greatest threat. We are in a very warm and moist environment and have been for a while now, so we definitely have the ingredients for severe weather here at the surface. In order to get organized, potent severe weather you need the ingredients here at the surface AND way up above our heads where the clouds are. Right now, it doesn’t look like things up there are going to be ideal for organized severe weather but, should that change, our severe threat will increase.

I’m still keeping track of February thunder and seeing if that corresponds with frost on that day in May, as folklore suggests. So far I have us getting frost on May 10 and 17th, since we had thunder on those two dates in February.  I did see a rainbow yesterday and today but I don’t know of any folklore concerning rainbows in February (ha!). I’ll keep an eye on May 21 and 22 and see what happens. I may just start my own folklore with that! haha

So, we can get just about anything this time of year, right? Do you remember what you were doing three years ago today?……..

Does this ring a bell?


The peak of the ice storm occurred on February 21st, but folks were dealing with an absolute mess in these days that followed. I was teaching at Mississippi State and I missed out on all the fun (ha), but I’ll never forget calling home and hearing the distress in my family’s voice. I came home a couple weeks later for spring break and will never forget the devastation I saw as I drove across the county. The governor said it best when he said it looked like an EF-2 tornado had hit the whole county.

Let’s be grateful for the weather we have. Heaven knows it could be a lot worse, folks!

You all have a great day and I’ll keep an eye on that storm potential for Saturday night.