Tennessee tornadoes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:11 PM GMT on April 08, 2006

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It was a night to huddle in the basement and cower in the face of nature's incredible fury throughout Tennessee last night, as another wave of deadly twisters swept through a state already reeling from last Sunday's 24 tornado deaths. At least 31 tornadoes touched down yesterday, killing 11 and creating tremendous destruction in the Nashville area. Sumner County, just north of Nashville, suffered eight dead. You can see the impressive line of storms that swept through the area in this 3-hour radar animation (1.4 Mb). The breadth, intensity, and duration of the storms covering the Tennessee Valley yesterday and last night was truly impressive to behold. With the peak of tornado season still a month away, the three major tornado outbreaks so far this year have already killed 49 people, compared to the average of 45 killed during the entire year each of the previous three years. Through the end of March, 286 tornadoes hit the United States, compared to an average of 70 for the January-March period in each of the past three years.

Severe thunderstorms from last night's onslaught will continue to affect Florida, Alabama, and Georgia today, but the risk of tornadoes is much reduced. It appears that the coming week will be much quieter,with no major tornado outbreaks likely. However, the jet stream pattern remains very active over the coming two weeks, and another major tornado outbreak during the week following Easter is a stong possibility. The tornado season of 2006 is more than making up for the quiet tornado seasons we've been blessed with the past three years!


Figure 1. Radar snapshot of the tornadic thunderstorms that swept through Tennessee yesterday. Note the classic hook-shaped echo from the cell southwest of Nashville, indicating a tornado.

Jeff Masters

The Real Deal (jhawkfan)
Didn't have to chase this tornado down. I stepped out my back door and there it was. NWS rated it an F2
The Real Deal
Friday night lightning (Hurricanman)
One good photo out of 221 bad. Most of the others were just black sky. This one suprised me! Taken Sunday Morning at 12:30am CST.
Friday night lightning

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121. oriondarkwood
1:20 PM GMT on April 10, 2006
Okay people place you bets on went the first Tropical System of the season is going to appear. I think we overdue for a mid-May system..

And I am also betting based on previous up and downs of the hurricane peaks. This year will be above average but no where near the mind-blower of last year. However I don't think we seen the last of a mind-blowing year like last year. I have a feeling almost all those records (save the greek alphabet) ones will one day be shattered.
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 41
120. HillsboroughBay
8:14 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Nice pics.
Good post also David!
118. DAVIDKRZW
5:10 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Link


her is the forcast for shear for the next 72 hours out the red means low shear and the blue mean high shear i hop this help out a little bit yet me no if it dos i off for the night
117. Levi32
4:52 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Agreed, but I still think that 10-15 knots of shear is no big deal. We will see. Nice to have something exciting going on. Goodnight. See you tomorrow.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
116. HurricaneMyles
4:49 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
The pockers of low shear should only help if the TD is in that small area. It could be 100 miles away and dealing with 10 knots. It all depends on this low's track. As for the shear, I made a typo and didnt realize it. I meant it could hit 20 knots, and even then it was only in a limited area. 15 knots is quite accurate.

As far as last years storms, this isn't quite the same. They develope from pre-existing upper level lows that dealt better with shear due to thier cold core characteristics. This is just a surface low with no mid or upper level ciculation. We'll watch and see, but this is certainly nothing dangerous.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
115. Levi32
4:22 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
HurricaneMyles, I don't see mid-level shear over 30 knots. It stays below 15 knots the whole time. As for the upper shear, I agree the low has a lot to deal with at the moment, but this low is planning a long stay, so any oppertunity with low shear will be taken, whether it is pockets of it or not. The pockets are plenty big enough to help a small TD form anyway. And the SST's are almost 80 degrees. 80 degrees is the TS threshold for developement! You can get a TD at 75 degrees! Look at last year and the storms that formed with SST's in the low 70's. I think that if it gets enough moisture to work with, this system is going to take advantage and develope.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
114. HurricaneMyles
3:45 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Agred Skyepony. This thing isnt much a threat to become a tropical storm, with no chance to become a dangerous hurricane.

And yes, we do need rain. In SWFL, near the coast, some dark, nasty looking low level clouds developed, but we never got any rain.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
113. MZT
3:44 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
I suspect even if human beings have moved the Earth's temperature up a few degrees, the biosphere as a whole can handle it.

Weren't there periods millions of years ago where sea temps could have been 10 degrees warmer than today? Hurricanes may have been regular, weekly, year round events!

Anyway, it's still quite early now to be looking for the first 2006 cyclone. Heck we still have frost warnings in N.C. I guess like spotting the first star of the evening, people can't resist trying...
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
112. Skyepony (Mod)
3:34 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
How could this discussion gone to stopping this from forming? We'd be lucky to see a TD out of this. FL needs a good soaking from a system without lightning. The winds started coming from the east off the ocean, got some low, fast clouds headed west, but it's cold.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36075
111. ProgressivePulse
3:32 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
The Hurricane is not the problem, the Hurricane is here to clean our mess up. The more we mess the bigger they get. Limit the clean up and well you get a bigger mess.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
110. Levi32
3:28 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Yeah Progressive!

I got to go for 30 minutes. Back in a few...
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
108. HurricaneMyles
3:27 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Honestly, Levi, I don't even think it will make TD status. Right now it has to deal with 50+ knots of upper level shear for the next 24 hours. After 24 hours very small pockets of low upper level shear appear. In 72 hours a larger area of light upper level shear develops until 108 hours.

Mid level shear is very light until 12 hours from now it hits 30 knots or more. And until 90 hours there is no large area of low mid level shear.

That, plus SST at only 80 degrees, makes it doubtful anything will develope here.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
107. DAVIDKRZW
3:27 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
is there a way to put a boom in a hurricane to blow it up be for hiting land
106. ProgressivePulse
3:25 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
How about we don't do a thing to them and deal with it. They are a part of nature and I cannot name a time where tampering it actually helped the situation, can you?
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
104. DAVIDKRZW
3:23 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
blow the tunnels up then we do not have to talk about them any more
102. Levi32
3:22 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
I mean seed the hurricanes.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
101. Levi32
3:20 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Oh be quiet about the tunnels I have heard enought about them and I don't care. Just seed them.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
100. DAVIDKRZW
3:19 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
cyclonebuster we do not want to her about the tunnels Please do it in your own blog thank you
97. DAVIDKRZW
3:09 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Link


her is a link to some sea temp and has you can see there at all most 80!
96. Levi32
3:07 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Thanks for the models Hurricane.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
95. Levi32
3:06 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
So you think that it will make TD status? That is what I think too, but TS is not out of the question by any means.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
94. HurricaneMyles
3:00 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Here's the latest comparision of all the models. Almost all of them kill this thing pretty quick. Only the GFS shows it lasting another day and heading towards warm-core but never making it.

The newest GFS is more bullish on the system going warm core, but only shallow at best. This is probably because the SST are right around the 80 degree threshold for tropical cyclones. The GFS also takes 3 days before killing the system off.

In all, doesn't look like much to expect from this. Maybe a TD at best. I would be really surprised if we get Alberto out of this.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
93. Levi32
2:51 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Yes but GFS shows it almost warm core. Besides those are model analysis and they cannot be trusted to be right. That is an expirimental product too.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
92. MZT
2:46 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
UKMET shows that system southwest of Fla as cold-core.

UKMET
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
91. Levi32
2:27 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Yes the center is hard to make out. I wouldn't exactly call them "storms," but the cloud tops are cooling.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
89. Levi32
2:25 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Well for some reason Cyclone has a current FSU forecast but can't find the site?!?! That is weird.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
88. ProgressivePulse
2:23 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Most models use GFS information so at this time of the year when there are so many variables the GFS is the one to look at
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
87. ProgressivePulse
2:22 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Yes because most of the models are only used during Tropical Seasons
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
86. Levi32
2:17 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Progressive, that is the site I am using but you will notice that the last run made by the FSU ensemble was during Wilma's landfall!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
85. ProgressivePulse
2:14 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/

Here is a link to the Models
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
84. Levi32
2:14 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Thunderstorms trying to flare NE of the low. Link
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
83. Levi32
2:11 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Interesting. I think this whole thing sounds very fishy.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
81. Levi32
1:57 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Cyclone where did you go?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
80. Levi32
1:56 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Look even the official NHC forecast has a trough with low pressures in the Carribean in 72 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
79. ProgressivePulse
1:53 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
I bleed the Blue and Gold of Notre Dame, grew up in South Bend. Die Hard fan since age 4
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
78. Levi32
1:50 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
cyclone, I repeat: where did you get the FSU ensemble???
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
76. mobal
1:50 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
ProgressivePulse, Roll Tide, Had to do it
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 481 Comments: 5327
74. Levi32
1:49 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
mobal, just look at these models and see what I mean. Look at the GFS and NOGAPS 850-200 mb shear and surface pressure forecasts they tell the story.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
73. ProgressivePulse
1:49 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
This time of the year, GFS is what I look to.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
72. Levi32
1:48 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
That's ok cyclone I knew you meant NW. lol
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
71. ProgressivePulse
1:48 AM GMT on April 10, 2006
Kinda like thier football as of late.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.