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PeayWeather: TGIF and Labor Day Holiday

Labor Day Weekend Forecast

It’s Friday! I hope you all have great first week of school here on APSU, and we have three day weekend! Yay! However , a friendly reminder to stay hydrated because it’s gonna be so hot! There are plenty of ways to cool off such as relaxing in shade, taking a dip in a pool or stream, or enjoying ice-cold lemonade.

Labor Day Weekend Forecast (National Weather Service Nashville)

Today (TGIF!) – Mostly cloudy, 40% chance of afternoon thunderstorm and shower, Hi- 89

Tonight – Partly cloudy, 20% chance of thunderstorm and shower, Lo- 70

Saturday- Partly sunny, 20% chance of thunderstorm and shower, Hi- 89

Satuday night- Partly cloudy, Lo-71

Sunday- Partly sunny, 30% chance of afternoon thunderstorm and shower, Hi- 89

Sunday night- Partly Cloudy, Lo- 71

Monday- Sunny, 20% chance of thunderstorm and shower, Hi- 90

Monday night- Mostly clear, Lo- 71

A Penny for a Thought

As we approach fall and winter, we would have home football games and several outdoor events for students, and we would have a lot more weather to talk about here, including tornadoes. Last year, I was at a home game in November, and we had a severe thunderstorm warning. However, some tailgaters were outside and some, but not all of, the doors were locked. Several tailgaters, including myself, ended up outside during a severe thunderstorm until a person opened the door for us. I feel that there is room for improvement; for starters, have a plan for severe weather and communicate the plan to other event staffs. Also, it is important to know where are available shelters for all of people involved in event, and the event staff should be able to give people clear instructions what to do when thunder is heard or a warning is issued.  Should a tornado warning be issued, all people, including students, visitors, and staff, should be able to take cover in safe room quickly. In case of football, we may have people on the other team who are not familiar with fall season severe weather, and they may be confused if they hear warnings before, during, or after games.

About 9 p.m. on Saturday, February 24th this year, Montgomery County was struck by a couple of tornadoes. I took cover in hallway in Sevier alongside RAs and several other residents, but I saw a few other residents leaving the building despite our effort to tell them we had a tornado warning. I was a little paranoid about them leaving the building because the the warning text revealed that there was a confirmed tornado on the ground in Clarksville. That really struck me as an issue because we never actually did tornado drills last year when I was here. We got lucky that time, but perhaps one day we will not be as lucky. Therefore, I strongly encourage students and staff to conduct campus-wide tornado drills throughout the academic year.  Additionally, we need to be able to get out of bed and take cover really quickly for nocturnal tornadoes, such as the aforementioned examples.  I also met some students here who were not familiar with dealing with severe weather, much less wintertime tornadoes. They might have never heard a tornado warning before, or they might have lived somewhere that are more used to seeing tornadoes in spring and summer.

I thought about this issue since I spent this summer in Oklahoma for REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) because one afternoon, we sat sat and listened to one guy. He was talking about thunderstorms and outdoor events. Then, he showed us extremely graphic videos of lightning hitting a tree during a high school football game and stage collapse in Indiana in August 2011 that killed seven people.  In case of stage collapse, the severe thunderstorm blasted winds at least 60 mph at the state fair concert, knocking down the stage and crushing seven people to death. Several other concertgoers were injured. Ironically, just a few minutes before the stage collapsed, the staff announced to the crowd about the storm heading their way and advised them to take shelter. Consequentially, they faced $50 million lawsuit for stage collapse. That disaster and lawsuit were clearly preventable by just hiring a meteorologist.

Sources:

Indiana stage collapse-  https://www.cnn.com/2014/12/19/us/indiana-state-fair-settlement/index.html

Feb 24 tornadoes NWS report-https://www.weather.gov/ohx/20180224

One Final Thought…

When we get to late September to early October, I would cover the Dixie Alley in more depth to help you all be aware of tornado season in Tennessee and how tornadoes tend to behave in the southeast U.S. It has been an issue for some people in the South because of different conditions compared to Tornado Alley.

I am a trained NWS storm spotter, and this blog is meant to be informative of the weather for the next few days. It is also meant to have light humor for some commentary on the weather of the day. Also, “A Penny for Thought” reflects my opinions supported by facts on some of issues related to weather.

About Ivy MacDaniel

I am a sophomore who’s majoring in physics with mathematics minor. I love weather, especially thunderstorms and tornadoes. My hobbies are chess, drawing, and outdoor activities. I am a trained storm spotter.

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