From Muscle Shoals up through Lawrenceburg all the way up to Nashville for about the next six or seven hours, the tornado threat is significant. The tornado warning in West TN is a confirmed tornado doing a lot of damage, a tornado emergency. The rest of North Alabama and points East in Tennessee will probably have their severe weather threat start later tonight, should include some level of a tornado threat as well as damaging winds.
6:35 PM - Really classic tornado signature on that storm moving through Western Tennessee. Earlier this was confirmed as a tornado, and even if the debris signature goes away at times, any time you see a hook echo and velocity couplet like that, have to take it very, very seriously and people in the path have to be in shelter.
Got another supercell trying to produce a tornado near Holly Grove, Arkansas, moving toward where the three states connect, MS/TN state lines. People in Memphis will want to watch that storm. I believe a tornado moved just North of Memphis an hour or two ago. And these are tornadoes that could be particularly damaging and life-threatening, with these supercell thunderstorms out by themselves for now.
6:52 - Thanks to Danielle Breezy from WKRN-2 in Nashville for sharing this list of public shelters. I wish there were more in Tennessee.
8:11 PM - Got a long-tracked tornado crossing the line from Mississippi into Western Tennessee there. Earlier that tornado in West TN weakened below severe limits as the storm moved further Northeast.
Otherwise things are quiet around here for now, though not if you look at the national view. Going to have to focus in on our immediate area over the next few hours as our threat for severe weather gets going. These storms have yet to form into any sort of squall line, and the discrete supercells have been really far apart.
We have a Tornado Watch for Colbert, Franklin, and Lauderdale Counties until 1 AM - also includes Wayne, Lawrence, and Giles Counties in Tennessee. And this is a particularly dangerous situation where long-tracked, particularly damaging tornadoes are possible from supercell thunderstorms.
8:26 - Hard to verify things this soon, but sounds like there were a lot of injuries in Arkansas from the tornado earlier. Have not heard of confirmed deaths, and if we get by without any of those, wow. The National Weather Service in Birmingham posted an update in which they called the scenes from there and Iowa "heartbreaking", which I will agree with. I will also agree with their idea of "probably not" for us seeing things quite that bad closer to home. Still, any tornado is dangerous. Any damaging wind event is dangerous. Awareness and a reasonably safe shelter are essential tonight.
Now we do have this corridor in Northwest Alabama up into much of Tennessee where there is a better chance of seeing tornadoes, including a couple of tornadoes that could be particularly damaging. In or near this watch area, you need to be extra careful and take your best precautions if a warning is required later.
Even if it is a severe thunderstorm warning, it is too close a call this time, and I'd go ahead and go to your shelter, and not wait to see if it gets upgraded to a tornado warning or not.
And we do have a storm, a supercell thunderstorm, with a history of producing a tornado, crossing into Tennessee from Northern Mississippi. You know anyone in the general path there, make sure they know.
8:41 - Here is another list of shelters in Mid-South. Thanks to Channel 5 and NWS Memphis for passing that along.
Someone posted that the tornado could be in Wayne County (TN) before 10 PM. That could happen, but it has a northern component to its track, so I'd rather not speculate too far in advance as to where it will end up. The Weather Service is watching it very closely and drawing long enough polygons to allow people time to get to shelter ahead of these storms. Having said that, they are moving fast. \
This one has taken an eastward turn and is moving at 50 mph. So people in Wayne and Hardin Counties will want to watch it carefully, also counties just north of there. I notice that Big Hill Pond State Park is in the path of this. It is a spotter-confirmed tornado as well as having the pronounced radar signature.
8:48 - Much farther North, Chicago is dealing with some really damaging winds as a strong squall line moves through there.
By the way, even with straight-line winds around here tonight, we could easily see power outages.
8:51 - Here's a better look at that storm in Tennessee. Everybody in that warning polygon needs to stay sheltered until this thing passes for sure. It has been confirmed numerous times and kept cycling back up on radar. It may be a particularly damaging tornado as well.
9:01 PM - Just a thought, I mean I gave my best sheltering advice in several previous posts leading up to this event, but a lot of people go out to party on Friday nights. So I hope restaurants and nightclubs will have one person in charge who is staying aware of the weather. And a lot of these places have a steel-reinforced room, a cooler or freezer, that might open from the inside and be able to fit all the customers, musicians, whoever. That would provide excellent protection if a tornado was approaching a place where people were hanging out enjoying some music and good food tonight.
9:04 - Tornado warning remains in effect for Hardeman and McNairy Counties there in Southern Tennessee. It is back to being called a radar-indicated rotation, but it is so hard to tell at night. If this thing is on the ground, it could be doing some substantial damage. And it has been confirmed by spotters many times through its life cycle. These kinds of tornadic supercells tend to cycle up and down. Don't let your guard down just because it goes through a weakening phase. Treat it seriously.
9:07 - And now it is showing it as a confirmed, large, and extremely dangerous tornado again. I think I'll hold off on anything I read that suggests a weakening phase until I'm sure. This is out by itself, and there really is nothing to cause it to weaken or dissipate any time soon.
9:09 - And look at how spread out these supercells are. The squall line is being slow to form with the southernmost of the two hot spots. They've got a good squall line going on up North in the Midwest/Ohio Valley along with still some supercells. That line moved through Chicago a while ago, and I think the warning warned that winds could get up to 100 mph.
9:13 - By the way, Brad Travis has a livestream going already, not on TV, but sort of chatting about the weather informally.
9:18 - New tornado warning includes Savannah and much of other western parts of Hardin County, TN.
The Weather Service is repeating that this is a large and dangerous tornado.
9:22 - Unconfirmed reports of "mass casualties" with a couple of these tornadoes today. Apparently one hit a theater somewhere in Illinois where a concert was going on. This may end up being a historic tornado outbreak. I have no doubt it will be remembered, regardless of how it ranks in history. It has been so widespread and so many significant tornadoes today.
A squall line is very slowly forming starting up North and should gradually absorb some of these supercells that are moving from Arkansas into Northern Mississippi and Western parts of Tennessee.SEL7
[9:25PM] Severe storms are moving through western TN and northern MS ⛈ Additional storm development overnight in the TN Valley would bring the threats for tornadoes, damaging winds, hail, and flooding. Have multiple ways to get warnings! ⚠️ #HUNwx pic.twitter.com/4tkYEjXibo— NWS Huntsville (@NWSHuntsville) April 1, 2023
And a reminder from the Huntsville office to stay alert the rest of tonight...
9:31 - Squall line finally trying to organize along the Mississippi River.
9:43 - Looks like that tornado is taking on a more northward track again. Like East/Northeast motion.
9:45 - Tornado warning for Hardin, Henderson, Decatur, McNairy, and Chester counties.
9:48 - Ok it was the Apollo Theater in Illinois that collapsed in the storms. I think all we have confirmed today are multiple injuries and one death, the death from Northern Little Rock. But even that much I'm not sure is confirmed. Sometimes it is better to wait and sort that out the next day and just pay attention to the severe weather still going on or approaching.
10:04 PM - And that has been extended including Northern Waynesboro as a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. I would still respect that warning and get to a small central room or hallway on the lowest level of your home.
10:21 - As far as the squall line that is developing just East of the MS River, now thinking it will move into Northwest Alabama around Midnight, I-65 corridor about 3 AM, last into Northeast Alabama until about 6 AM.
10:25 - It looks like this will mainly be a threat for storms within the squall line for most of North Alabama, but those areas up toward the Shoals and into Central Tennessee still have a higher tornado threat - Storm Prediction Center calling this a particularly dangerous situation. That supercell moving through Northern Wayne County appears to be weakening for the moment, and the environment in Middle Tennessee may not be as favorable at this point, still bears close watching for folks up that way. This tornado watch - PDS - was issued specifically thinking about any supercell storms that can get organized ahead of the main squall line. So until the line does arrive, still have to consider that an isolated supercell or two is possible in or near this general area.
10:31 - And now you can see that squall line starting to take better shape. I think it will be to the Shoals by about midnight. It may transition to more of a primary threat of damaging thunderstorm winds, but at least an isolated tornado threat still exists. And Northwest Alabama into Southern Tennessee is in that zone where the tornado threat is a little higher. Even within a line, don't assume that a tornado will be relatively weak or not stay together for very long. And even a relatively weak tornado does not feel weak to the people it hits. There is no need to be overly worried about this threat, it is not the high threat that some of our neighbors to the North and West had today, but we do need to respect this tornado threat along with the severe thunderstorm wind threat.
10:35 - That storm coming out of Wayne County has weakened below severe limits. And there are several other storms in Tennessee and back in Mississippi that carry tornado or severe thunderstorm warnings. They are starting to organize into a broken squall line.
10:43 - Latest note from SPC mentions that the environment is becoming more favorable for tornadoes in Northern Mississippi with really strong low-level helicity as the broken line of supercells approaches that area. So it was a good call to issue this PDS Tornado Watch for that area as well as extending into the Shoals and into Tennessee earlier like they did. Looks like what they expected is verifying.
Further to the South in Mississippi, the latest Tornado Watch carries more of a general tornado risk. And we'll see what we end up with further into Alabama. It will be a dual threat for severe thunderstorm winds and at least isolated tornadoes though.
10:58 - What we're seeing is a broken line of supercells at the moment, some of them showing signs of tornado rotation, others showing only evidence of damaging thunderstorm winds. People in this PDS Tornado Watch will want to monitor the progress of storms moving through Northern Mississippi and Southwest Tennessee over the next couple hours.
11:08 PM - Here is a good livestream out of Nashville.
11:10 - And that squall line East of the Mississippi (River) is becoming a lot better defined.
11:23 - Confirmed tornado warning includes town of Savannah in Tennessee now.
According to Ryan Hall's broadcast, this has already done some significant damage.
11:30 - The NWS is also calling it a large and extremely dangerous tornado.
11:34 - Another Tornado Watch will probably be required soon further East in Alabama and Tennessee. In fact I believe it just came out.
11:36 - No, not yet. But they were saying that Middle Tennessee and far Northwest Alabama have the greatest tornado threat within the next hour or two.
And that tornado moving into Hardin County TN is showing a strong debris signature at times. Looks like once again a tornado capable of more than average damage. Have to take all the warnings seriously esp now that it is after dark and these things are a lot harder to confirm except by clues like that on radar, or after you get damage reports.
11:39 - That tornado continues to look very impressive on radar as it moves rapidly East/Northeast.
11:43 - Also got a possible tornado moving up near Oxford, MS.
11:44 - New warning on that confirmed tornado in TN, clips Northern Waynesboro and includes Northern Wayne County. This may be a significant tornado.
11:50 - Also a good swath of damaging straight-line winds being warned for, severe thunderstorm warning that includes Corinth, MS.
11:52 - Starting a new post when the new Tornado Watch comes out. This one may not carry the PDS tag, but an isolated stronger tornado or two is still possible within the squall line or in any storms that are able to remain supercells like the one moving into Wayne County TN.
11:57 - Report of a large wedge tornado here, the storm headed into Northern Wayne County. People in Waynesboro and points north need to be in a basement or a small interior room away from windows. Cover your body, especially your head, if in the warning polygon.
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Tornado Watch Number 97
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
555 PM CDT Fri Mar 31 2023
The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a
* Tornado Watch for portions of
Western and Middle Tennessee
* Effective this Friday afternoon and Saturday morning from 555
PM until 100 AM CDT.
...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...
* Primary threats include...
Several tornadoes and a few intense tornadoes likely
Scattered damaging winds and isolated significant gusts to 80
Scattered large hail and isolated very large hail events to 2.5
inches in diameter possible
SUMMARY...The threat for both discrete, tornadic supercells and an
eventual severe squall line will spread across the watch area
through the evening. A favorably unstable, strong-shear environment
will support the threat for significant (EF2+) tornadoes. Severe
thunderstorm gusts and large, locally damaging hail also are
The tornado watch area is approximately along and 85 statute miles
east and west of a line from 40 miles south of Oxford MS to 25 miles
east northeast of Clarksville TN. For a complete depiction of the
watch see the associated watch outline update (WOUS64 KWNS WOU7).
WOUS64 KWNS 312256
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WT 97
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
555 PM CDT FRI MAR 31 2023
TORNADO WATCH 97 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 100 AM CDT FOR THE
. ALABAMA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE
COLBERT FRANKLIN LAUDERDALE
. MISSISSIPPI COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE
ALCORN BENTON CALHOUN
CHICKASAW ITAWAMBA LAFAYETTE
LEE MONROE PONTOTOC
PRENTISS TALLAHATCHIE TIPPAH
TISHOMINGO UNION YALOBUSHA
. TENNESSEE COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE
BENTON CARROLL CHEATHAM
CHESTER DAVIDSON DECATUR
DICKSON GILES HARDEMAN
HARDIN HENDERSON HENRY
HICKMAN HOUSTON HUMPHREYS
LAWRENCE LEWIS MACON
MADISON MARSHALL MAURY
MCNAIRY MONTGOMERY PERRY
ROBERTSON RUTHERFORD STEWART
SUMNER TROUSDALE WAYNE
WWUS64 KHUN 312301
WATCH COUNTY NOTIFICATION FOR WATCH 97
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
601 PM CDT FRI MAR 31 2023
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 97 IN
EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT SATURDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS
IN ALABAMA THIS WATCH INCLUDES 3 COUNTIES
IN NORTHWEST ALABAMA
COLBERT FRANKLIN AL LAUDERDALE
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF FLORENCE, MUSCLE SHOALS, RED BAY,
RUSSELLVILLE, SHEFFIELD, AND TUSCUMBIA.
WWUS64 KOHX 312259
WATCH COUNTY NOTIFICATION FOR WATCH 97
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NASHVILLE TN
559 PM CDT FRI MAR 31 2023
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED TORNADO WATCH 97 IN
EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT SATURDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS
IN TENNESSEE THIS WATCH INCLUDES 22 COUNTIES
IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE
CHEATHAM DAVIDSON DICKSON
GILES HICKMAN HOUSTON
HUMPHREYS LAWRENCE LEWIS
MACON MARSHALL MAURY
MONTGOMERY PERRY ROBERTSON
RUTHERFORD STEWART SUMNER
TROUSDALE WAYNE WILLIAMSON
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF ASHLAND CITY, BRENTWOOD, CENTERVILLE,
CLARKSVILLE, CLIFTON, COLLINWOOD, COLUMBIA, DICKSON, DOVER, ERIN,
FRANKLIN, GALLATIN, GOODLETTSVILLE, HARTSVILLE, HENDERSONVILLE,
HOHENWALD, KINGSTON SPRINGS, LA VERGNE, LAFAYETTE, LAWRENCEBURG,
LEBANON, LEWISBURG, LINDEN, LOBELVILLE, MCEWEN, MOUNT JULIET,
MURFREESBORO, NASHVILLE, NEW JOHNSONVILLE, PEGRAM, PULASKI,
SMYRNA, SPRINGFIELD, TENNESSEE RIDGE, WAVERLY, AND WAYNESBORO.
REMEMBER...A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for
tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch
area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for
threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements
and possible warnings.
OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 93...WW 94...WW 95...WW
AVIATION...Tornadoes and a few severe thunderstorms with hail
surface and aloft to 2.5 inches. Extreme turbulence and surface wind
gusts to 70 knots. A few cumulonimbi with maximum tops to 550. Mean
storm motion vector 25045.