Severe Weather Awareness Week-4

The rain is moving out leaving behind some areas of drizzle.  Clouds will be sticking around overnight and so will the cold air.  Tomorrow will start off cloudy with some clearing later in the day.  The warm air arrives in time for the weekend and sticks around for much of next week.

Even with the rain today, there were no flooding issues.  Flooding and flash flooding is the focus for today’s Severe Weather Awareness Week spotlight. The word flooding brings up images of May 2010. It surprises many people to learn that more people die from flash flooding than any other phenomenon related to thunderstorms.

Records were set for rainfall and for river levels. It was termed a 1000 year flood. The storm killed 18 people in Middle Tennessee.  Most of those deaths occurred when people where driving and rain into water standing over the road.  Turn Around Don’t Drown is the simple statement created by the National Weather Service.  It only takes a foot of water to float a small car.  I encourage you to watch this short video, it is eye opening click here.

There are different kinds of flooding that can be confusing.  Flash flooding is a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid water level rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level, beginning within six hours of the causative event (i.e., intense rainfall, dam failure, ice jam). River flooding is easier to prepare for because it happens at a slower pace. River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel and inundate areas that are normally dry.

With each of those, there are various advisories, warnings and watches.  Here is a list of those and what they mean click here.

The Spring Flood Outlook was issued today.  For 2016 there is an above average risk in the short-term and average risk for the rest of the spring.  The report says that recent precipitation has left area soils very most and stream flows remain elevated.  So this has increased the overall flood risk in the short term to above average.

The good news is there are no severe thunderstorms in the forecast for the next 7 days.  I’ll have an update on Channel 4 News at 6pm and 10pm.

Lisa Spencer

posted 5:30 PM


About Lisa Spencer

Lisa Spencer is the chief meteorologist at WSMV Channel 4 Nashville. You can catch her weathercasts weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm and 10pm.
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