Severe thunderstorms to bring hail, potential for tornadoes, NWS says

Published 5:42 pm Friday, April 24, 2015

Weather Watch Web Graphic

Some severe thunderstorms could move through the area Saturday bringing the potential for tornado activity, according to the National Weather Service.

“Some initial showers will move into the area late tonight,” NWS Forecaster Terry Getz said. “The thunderstorm outbreak will move in Saturday afternoon and continue through the evening with a risk of damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes.”

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Elizabethton is in the “slight risk” area for seeing the severe storms, Getz said, adding that areas of the Cumberland Plateau probably will see the most severe storms.

Locally, the storm could produce hail measuring up to 2 inches in diameter, wind gusts of 60 mph or more and as much as an inch of rain across the area, Getz said. The possibility for isolated tornadoes also exists in Carter County, he said.

In Elizabethton, residents can expect “scattered severe storms that are generally short-lived,” Getz said.

The greatest threat for severe storms in Elizabethton will come between midafternoon Saturday and Saturday night as the second band of the storm system moves through the area, Getz said.

“The heavier stuff should roll out of the area around midnight and then some linger light rain and cooler temperatures can be expected on Saturday,” he said.

Residents should expect tornado or severe storm watches and warnings to be issued Saturday, Getz said. Elizabethton and Carter County may not appear in the first wave of warnings but probably will be included in the watch and warning areas as the second band of storm moves through.

Overnight tonight, the temperatures are expected to dip to around 46 degrees in Elizabethton. Saturday’s high should be about 67. A 50 percent chance of showers tonight is predicted with that chance rising to 80 percent Saturday.

On Saturday night the temperature is expected to drop to 54 degrees with a 80 percent chance of showers continuing. On Sunday the chance for showers drops to 60 percent while the high temperature is predicted to reach 62. Forecasters are predicting a 30 percent chance of rain Sunday night before the system moves through and clear skies and a high near 60 show up Monday for the start of the work week.