On Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, the weather was forecast to be windy and rainy thanks to remnants of Tropical Storm Olga, according to National Weather Service (NWS) Nashville. A wind advisory was issued for Middle Tennessee as a result.
One would have expected the day to be a bit windy and rainy, but not anything crazy, such as getting socked with near hurricane strength winds. The “crazy” part did happen however.
That “crazy part” began at 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon when a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for few counties, including Montgomery. Perhaps, the warning was a rude awakening for some who decided to sleep during the afternoon.
Statements in the warning did clearly mention roughly 70 mph winds. I have seen damages from 70+ mph straight line winds before, so I took the warning pretty seriously.
Yet, that was not a typical severe thunderstorm scenario. There were only moderate rain with little to no thunder at all, according to NWS. It was actually cluster of showers with intense pressure-driven winds from low pressure remnant of Olga.
Clarksville was one of the hardest-hit areas, and the city had sustained rather extensive wind damages. The animated .gif of radar-indicated wind velocity by NWS in tweet below showed winds of 100+ mph. Those winds were observed at least 2,000 feet above ground as per NWS.
Despite the winds being pressure-driven by former Tropical Storm Olga rather than an actual severe thunderstorm, the winds were still destructive. There were reports of widespread damages caused by the remnants. Clarksville (and APSU main campus) were no exception as over 40,000 customers lost power in and near the city.
Schools in the area had cancelled on Monday. Widespread damages did occur, and I also have seen at least a few downed trees on campus. More discussions on damages will be covered later this week.
Lastly, I want to share a piece of my thoughts. I would rather not assume a weak tornado had occurred in most cases whenever I see the similar damages, and intense straight-line winds can cause damages similar to weak tornadoes save for few differences.
I am a trained spotter and weather enthusiast who spent years enjoying learning about weather. I provide my thoughts and commentaries, sometimes with light humor.