Beware of storms Wednesday

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dangerous weather is predicted this afternoon across several southeastern states and Marshall County is the bull's-eye of the targeted area, according to the National Weather service.

"There will be a significant outbreak of weather including tornadoes, including long track tornadoes - something on the order of 12 miles or more," NOAA Meteorologist Darrell Massie said late yesterday morning.

"If the sun breaks out, like we think it will ... particularly Wednesday afternoon, this will enhance the formation of super cells and tornadic super cells in particular," Massie said. "Super cells move really fast, so we recommend people keep track of the weather. They move ... 50 mph and more, and they probably will Wednesday.

"That cuts down your reaction time, so be ready to move to your place of safety on short notice," he said. "It could be the most significant event this year, especially regarding tornadoes."

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Bob Hopkins has been monitoring the situation since 2 a.m. Tuesday when "Squall lines came through," he said after dawn, noting trees were knocked down, but none blocked roads, or damaged power lines, homes, cars or people.

A computer-based seminar with the National Weather Service advised northwest counties including Clarksville, Waverly and Paris might be most affected, Hopkins said, "and they've been hit already, harder than we have.

"Believe it or not, it all depends on what the jet stream demands," he said. "However, we're going to treat it like it's us. That's 24-hours away and I hate to deal with 'ifs.'"

Hopkins will call local radio stations for immediate announcements.

Meanwhile, his weather spotters were responding to a flash flood watch Tuesday and they would continue to do so for some 48 hours through noon Thursday. Such preparedness includes the EMA's CERT Teams. Community Emergency Response Team personnel "constantly check on their neighbors," Hopkins said. "They know, better than anybody else, who to check on and they'll be doing that during this period."

Massie said a low-pressure system over Arkansas was expected to strengthen last night and move northeast and send a cold front to this area.

"Things should start to quiet down Wednesday night with somewhat cooler air," Massie said.

And while the area of concern includes all of Middle Tennessee, Massie noted, "Marshall County is right in the middle of it. You are right in the middle of the potential trouble."