‘Trailing cells’ pounded state
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:31 pm
The situation in Kenton was a microcosmic example of the widespread adverse effects of heavy downpours Saturday and Sunday.
Chris Duke, a meteorologist at the Memphis office of the National Weather Service said in a 48-hour period — Saturday and Sunday — the Jackson area received 10.6 inches of rain; the Union City area, 3.3 inches; and the Nashville area, 13.5 inches.
Thus did rivers such as the Obion in this area and the Cumberland River in the Nashville area become rain-swollen, spreading far beyond their riverbanks.
“This really wasn’t a cloudburst,” Duke said. “It was what we call ‘trailing cells,’ storms lined up like so many boxcars on a railroad. A bunch of cells moving over the same spot. One would dump its rain, then another would dump and another and another, with not much of a break in between.
“I’ve never seen that much rain before in so short a period of time,” he said.
Published in The Messenger 5.4.10