I knew it right when I woke up yesterday morning at 12:30. I knew we were in for an active day. Was this an April 27th? No, but regardless this was an extreme weather day in our area.
Three confirmed EF-1 tornadoes brought damage to southern Leslie County, Kentucky and to Rock Springs and Gray, Tennessee. Outside of that, severe thunderstorms swept through much of our viewing area, delivering hailstones the size of golf-balls and baseballs. For many, this was something we had never seen.
That's because this is something we don't usually see in this area. It CAN happen, but it isn't as common as in the Deep South or Great Plains.
When the Storm Prediction Center issued a 10% chance of a tornado across parts of the area, we immediately went into "severe weather mode." That's because in the fourth week of July, the average tornado probability since 2003 is much less than one percent! We hadn't seen a tornado report come down since March of 2012.
It was time to prepare for a possible severe weather outbreak. I went on the air yesterday morning, and used this graphic during each weather hit:
This is a message that the entire StormTrack 5 team works hard to convey. At the end of the day, we felt like you all were prepared, and we could all lay our heads down and know that our viewers were safe. Being prepared, not scared, helped keep you all out of harm's way.
When severe weather hits, your own preparedness could save your life. Being scared could put you in danger.
As a new guy (I've been at WCYB roughly three months now), it is incredibly encouraging to work with a team that is so dedicated to keeping the community safe. It is also incredibly encouraging to see how the community responded to warning. Your readiness, your reports, your pictures, and your footage allowed us to keep you, your family and your neighbors safe. In the end, that is what matters.
---Meteorologist Chris Michaels---
Facebook: Chris Michaels WCYB