|County avoids damage in Tuesday storm |
Tornado sirens echoed throughout the downtown Martin reaching the outskirts of town as a funnel cloud reportedly swept through the county. Shrouded in heavy rain and fighting high winds, Weakley County residents were urged by National Weather Service of Memphis alerts and local news channels to seek shelter in basements or sturdy areas of their homes.
Storms swept through northwest Tennessee Tuesday night with National Weather Service alerts citing a severe tornado warning for Weakley County. The inclement weather ended by dusk. The photo above was taken after the storm.
This was the scene that played out Tuesday afternoon when record high temperatures for the month of January fell on Northwest Tennessee. Storm systems swelled across the nation causing damage in North Central states and west of the Mississippi River.
Northwest Tennessee fared considerably well as swirling masses of warm air and moisture coupled with 70 degree Fahrenheit temperatures swept east from Arkansas.
As NWS meteorologist Chris Duke explained, the unseasonably erratic weather that Weakley County experienced Tuesday afternoon stemmed from a large air mass of high pressure that brought temperatures that dipped well below freezing into the ‘teens over the weekend.
“All we need is a trigger mechanism which was the cold front,” Duke explained. He described how the southerly winds picked up moisture and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico creating unstable conditions.
“The last few days, we have broken record high temperatures,” Duke said.
Reports of wind damage and penny-sized hail came into the NWS from Weakley County while reports of a tornado touching down came in from Dyer County.
Weakley County 911 Director Jamison Peevyhouse said there were no reports of homes or businesses damaged during Tuesday’s storm. He said the system produced areas of localized flooding, but no reports of injuries or damages in Weakley County.
Today may bring about similar weather as forecasters predict more unstable conditions primed just right for thunderstorms, some even severe.
Duke said they do not anticipate a repeat of Tuesday’s weather; there are watches in effect for Northwest Tennessee as another system sweeps into the area this afternoon.
The NWS is reporting temperatures that will taper off and drop into the 50’s and 40’s this weekend and the early part of next week.
With highs in the 50’s during the day and dropping into the 30s at night, Duke said those temperatures are more “normal” for Northwest Tennessee in January. Weakley Countians will see even colder weather next week as temperatures are expected to dip into the 40’s during the day and 20’s at night.
Meteorologists with the NWS headed to Northwest Tennessee on Wednesday to assess damages reportedly caused by the storm on Tuesday.