|County dodges bullet, again |
|Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 11:07 am |
| High temperatures Friday were enough to fuel two low-pressure systems that were making their way across the central United States. The wreckage seen on the ground across 10 states was enough to prove the storm systems tracking east that day were nothing to be taken lightly. |
Weakley County Emergency Management Director Jamison Peevyhouse said Friday morning, while the radar appeared relatively insignificant, it is harder to explain to people the potential severity of a system if nothing is visible.
Peevyhouse said Friday’s situation was similar to that of the storm which hit Union University in Jackson a few years ago. High temperatures – in this case, 81 degrees Friday midday – married with convection energy produced from the pair of low-pressure systems created well-formed severe weather.
The biggest threat with Friday’s weather was the updraft created by heat that fed the storm systems. Peevyhouse said he kept a watchful eye on the barely-there radar, which showed little precipitation. From there they expected a few discreet cells to pop up, then within a matter of 15 to 20 minutes, those cells would grow in intensity.
That appeared to be the case across the state, but Weakley County and northwest Tennessee were apparently in Mother Nature’s good graces.
According to the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, several trees took a hit during a brief thunderstorm Friday afternoon.
Windy conditions and heavy rainfall uprooted trees and snapped branches. The damage reports were minimal, with the exception of an uprooted tree that landed on a home on Davis Street in Martin.
“I was just looking out the front door waiting for things to calm down so I could head to work,” resident James Thomas said. “Next thing I know I’m standing here with a tree on top of my house right where I was sitting in the living room on my lap top minutes earlier.” Thomas walked away without a scratch, as well as his dog Seminole.
“All I can say is that I’m blessed to still be standing here,” Thomas said after the incident. “All the things the tree destroyed are all material stuff.”
Once the storms tracked east across the state, damage became more significant in Middle and East Tennessee.
Between 9:25 a.m. and 7 p.m. that day, there were 75 tornado warnings issued across the state.
No fatalities were reported, but 45 people were injured and transported to nearby hospitals, according to reports issued by the National Weather Service of Memphis.
Statewide, there were 6,675 customers without power in Overton, Bradley, Dickson, Hamilton and McMinn counties.
There has been a state of emergency declared for Tennessee.
According to this week’s forecast, March will apparently continue to roar like a lion.
Today’s high temperature is expected around 65 degrees. Temperatures are expected to inch slightly, with a high of 67 projected Wednesday and 69 degrees Thursday. The heat will more than likely add fuel to a pressure system tracing west across the country.
The NWS is forecasting a 70 percent chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms Thursday, with the chance increasing to 80 percent that evening.
Cooler temperatures are predicted on the heels of the storm system as Friday’s high is forecasted at 57 degrees and Saturday’s high temperature prediction is 58 degrees.