The National Weather Service warns that severe thunderstorms — possibly including tornadoes — are possible Thursday evening.
While the overall threat of severe weather is low, the NWS reiterated late Thursday morning that there is a threat “of supercells with damaging wind gusts and a potential for tornadoes, mainly for the Plateau and southern TN Valley.”
Thursday morning’s statement came in an area forecast discussion, and refreshed an earlier advisory from the NWS’s Morristown weather forecast office that severe storms are possible on the northern plateau.
The timing of the storms’ arrival is expected to be around 7 p.m. Thursday evening.
In a briefing for emergency management planners Thursday morning, the NWS said that the main threat associated with the storms is damaging winds. However, the agency added, “A low threat of a tornado or two exists.”
The northern Cumberland Plateau, including Scott County and all neighboring counties, is included in a “slight risk” outlook for severe weather by the NWS’s Storm Prediction Center, which is based in Norman, Okla. In terms of percentages, a “slight risk” means there is a 15 percent chance of severe weather. An “enhanced risk” outlook includes all of Middle Tennessee, extending as far east as Fentress County and the western edge of the plateau. An “enhanced risk” means there is a 30 percent chance of severe weather.
In its outlook, the SPC said there is a 10 percent chance of tornadoes in Middle Tennessee, with a 5 percent chance extending as far east as the eastern edge of the plateau. There is a 15 percent chance for damaging winds along the northern plateau, with a 30 percent chance further west across Middle Tennessee.
The severe weather threat is expected to quickly diminish once a frontal boundary passes through the region Thursday evening. In the meantime, the plateau remains under a wind advisory until 8 p.m. Thursday evening, with wind gusts being reported in excess of 30 mph.