Note: This story was last updated at 3:43 p.m.
There is a higher risk of severe thunderstorms across the region today (Tuesday, July 14), forecasters said.
The storms could bring widespread damaging winds and very large hail, and isolated tornadoes are possible, according to the National Weather Service in Morristown.
Here are the latest updates (as of 3:43 p.m. Tuesday) from the National Weather Service:
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect from July 14, 02:45 PM EDT until July 14, 10:00 PM EDT
- Flash Flood Watch is in effect from July 14, 03:15 PM EDT until July 15, 04:00 AM EDT
A flood advisory is in effect in Knox, Blount, and Sevier counties in East Tennessee, and central Anderson County. The advisory started at 9:02 a.m. Tuesday and is in effect until 11 a.m. Cities that could experience flooding including Oak Ridge, Clinton, Knoxville, and Farragut.
The NWS has also issued a special weather statement that includes Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, and Union counties. At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, forecasters said, radar showed a line of strong thunderstorms moving southeast at 30 mph, and they could bring winds in excess of 30 mph, some small hail, frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, and heavy rainfall.
Forecasters said a very unstable environment is expected to develop this afternoon across much of the region in the wake of the complex of storms that will move through the area this morning.
“A significant episode of severe weather is possible as a cold front drops south into the area late this afternoon into the evening,” the NWS said. “A heightened risk for widespread damaging straight-line winds (in excess of 60-70 mph) will exist with the complex of thunderstorms that may develop, along with very large hail and localized flash flooding from heavy rainfall. Additionally, a few tornadoes will also be possible with the strongest thunderstorms.
“Please review your severe weather safety rules due to the possibility of severe weather today. Those with outdoor plans should especially pay attention to the latest forecast information and have a way to receive any watches and warnings that may be issued!”
The area of “enhanced risk” for severe thunderstorms includes parts of Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and a large swath of Tennessee from Johnson City, Knoxville, and Chattanooga in East Tennessee to Nashville and Cookeville in Middle Tennessee.
Forecasters said a complex of severe thunderstorms will develop along a cold front and track southeast across the area during the late afternoon and evening.
They said showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout Tuesday from the Upper Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic. By evening, the showers and thunderstorms will intensify, with an enhanced risk of severe storms stretching from the Ohio Valley almost to the coast of South Carolina and northern Georgia.
Here’s the NWS forecast near Oak Ridge for the next three days:
- Tuesday—Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Heat index values as high as 97. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.
- Tuesday night—Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 2 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 71. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.
- Wednesday—A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 2 p.m. Partly sunny and hot, with a high near 90. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
- Wednesday night—A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 8 p.m. Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. North wind around 5 mph, becoming calm.
- Thursday—Sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.
- Thursday night—Mostly clear, with a low around 68.
See more of the detailed forecast near Oak Ridge here.
See the hazardous weather outlook issued at 3:51 a.m. here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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Looks like bad weather coming in from Morgan County. We’ll try to track it as best we can.
FYI: WBIR-TV reported that a tornado was confirmed east of Cookeville.