Update on today’s severe weather chances…

We’ll start off the discussion with the latest mesoscale update from NWS Nashville:

.MESOSCALE UPDATE… RAIN COOLED AIR HAS MOVED ACROSS A GOOD PART OF WESTERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE THIS MORNING DELAYING SEVERE STORM THREAT FOR SEVERAL HOURS IN THIS AREA. SOUTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE…CLOSER TO THE ALABAMA BORDER HAS WARMED NICELY THROUGH THE MORNING BEING SOUTH OF THE COLD POOL WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE MIDDLE 70S. 850 MBAR JET ON THE ORDER OF 50-60 KNOTS HAS REMAINED INSITU LAST SEVERAL HOURS FROM CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH MIDDLE TENNESSEE. AIR MASS ACROSS SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE WILL CONTINUE TO DESTABILIZE OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS SO WILL NEED TO KEEP REALLY CLOSE TABS ON THIS AREA FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR MORE DISCRETE AND RAPID DEVELOPMENT IN THE FORM OF SUPERCELLS. THIS MAY TAKE A COUPLE OF HOURS SINCE CAP WILL HAVE TO BE BROKEN. AS WE GET INTO THE AFTERNOON HOURS EXPECT TO SEE ACTIVITY PICK UP BACK TO OUR WEST CLOSER TO THE TENNESSEE RIVER AND TAKE ON MORE OF A LINEAR OR SQUALL LINE APPEARANCE WESTERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE DOWN INTO NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI. IN ADDITION A FLOOD THREAT EXIST FOR ALL OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE THROUGH 11 PM TONIGHT. THREE TO FOUR INCH RAINFALL AMOUNTS HAVE ALREADY FALLEN ALONG AND 40 MILES SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 40 FROM FAIRVIEW TO THE TENNESSEE RIVER.”

Highlights from the conference call…

– This event has the opportunity to be locally significant.

– There has been flash flooding to our west across Williamson, Maury, and Lewis counties.  That is expected to continue throughout the day as we expect up to 2-4 additional inches of rain.

– All modes of severe weather are possible

– The greatest chance of severe weather will be situated across areas south of I-40, as this is where the greatest tornado chance will be.  Significant and long-track tornadoes are possible this afternoon/evening.

– Perhaps the greatest question most of the weather geeks have is what will the rain this morning do to our atmsophere?  Quite typically, this situation serves as a scrubber or a cleanser and “cleanses” our atmosphere.  However, this is not the case this time.  The rain has produced what meteorologists call a “thermal moisture boundary”.  Essentially it is a cold pool that serves as a highway of sorts for supercell thunderstorms.  Often they latch on this boundary and strengthen explosively.  Right now, this boundary exists along the Bedford/Rutherford Co line, and back west through Maury Co.  NWS Nashville will be watching this area CLOSELY once storms begin firing back to the southwest.  For example, the Mayflower, AR tornado was a result of a storm interacting with this type of boundary.  The atmosphere was a lot more conducive for strong tornadoes across S Arkansas, but this tornado formed across N sections of the state.  

– Best chance for severe weather across the area will be late afternoon into the early evening.

– Continue to spread the word about the storm chances for today.  Emphasis on “Don’t be scared…be prepared.”.

More info as it becomes available.

What’s in a disaster kit?

Several have asked about what does a good, short-term disaster kit contain.  Thinking this could go well over 140 characters, I’ll list them here on the blog.  This isn’t an all-inclusive list and your kit will obviously have things that are more important to you than they would be to others, but this is a good start.  This “kit” can be kept in a plastic tub near your safe place, or even in your safe place if you’re so inclined.

#1 – Several bottles of water

#2 – Several cans of non-perishable food (w/manual can opener)

#3 – Multiple flashlights w/several changes of batteries

#4 – Well-stocked first aid kit

#5 – A whistle or noisemaker used to call for help

#6 – Battery-operated radio/TV you can use to keep up-to-date with whats going on around you

#7 – Those with children should include powdered formula and extra clothes

#8 – Extra cash and travelers checks

#9 – Several days worth of prescription medication, extra pair of glasses, or other health aids

Again, this list is not inclusive and should be considered for short-term only.  A long-term disaster kit will obviously contain much more than this, such as a mess kit (paper plates, cups, spoons, etc), plastic bags, and personal sanitation items.  Chances are you won’t need to utilize this short-term kit, but it’s always a good practice to be prepared.  

Storm threat at the beginning of next week

Just concluded a conference call with the NWS.  Here’s the highlights:

– This system is slow-moving and will send numerous lobes of upper-lvel energy our way.

– There will be multiple rounds of severe weather between Sunday afternoon and early Wednesday morning, which means severe storms during the day AND at night a possibility.

– At this juncture, it’s difficult to nail down specifics, but it appears as though all modes of severe weather (straightline winds, hail, tornadoes) will be possible.

– Along with the storm threat, there is a flash flooding threat, as well.  We can expect 1.5-3″ (maybe even 4-5″, if the Weather Prediction Center were to be believed) before the system departs.

– We don’t want to overhype the details (or potential) of this system because they’re highly fluid and dependent upon how the storms develop and evolve.  Sundays storm evolution will affect Mondays storms…Mondays storms will affect Tuesdays, etc.

More info as it becomes available.