Hurricane Laura made landfall early this morning near Cameron, Louisiana. The storm will diminish in intensity as it heads towards Arkansas and turns east toward Tennessee and Kentucky tomorrow morning.
So what can we expect on the plateau and in the valley from Laura:
WINDS – Gusts of around 30 mph or slightly higher is possible later tomorrow (Friday, August 28, 2020) and through the day Saturday. The highest wind gust will be in the elevated regions. Now is a good time to secure any light items outside that the wind can pick up.
TIME OF IMPACT – Anywhere from late tomorrow morning (Friday, August 28, 2020) especially into tomorrow afternoon and evening. The storm will quickly leave the area Saturday by noon.
POWER OUTAGES – Because of the saturated soil from rainfall earlier this week, the winds could down several trees and cause power outages. Workers are ready to respond from VEC and other power companies in the event of outages.
SEVERE WEATHER AND RISK OF TORNADOES – The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of our region in a slight risk for severe weather tomorrow (Friday, August 28, 2020). Severe storm chances will gradually increase throughout tomorrow afternoon and evening and into the overnight hours as the remnants of Laura enter the area. Damaging straight-line winds and the possibly of an isolated tornado or two are the primary concerns, in addition to periods of moderate to heavy rain and some lightning.
TRAVEL – Given the winds and heavy rains, travel is not recommended from late Friday into Saturday morning. If you are traveling west tomorrow towards Nashville and Memphis, be advised you will be heading into the storm and conditions will rapidly deteriorate the further west you go tomorrow. If you have to travel tomorrow afternoon into Saturday morning, use extreme caution and allow for extra time in arriving to your destination.
HISTORY – While these types of storms are rare for Tennessee, it has been seen before. In 1989, what was left of Hurricane Hugo caused damage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 1995, the remnants of Hurricane Opal tore down trees and closed trails in the park. In 2004, East Tennessee felt what was left of Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Frances. In 2012, Harvey pushed moisture towards Knoxville.
105.7 The Hog and the 105.7 News Facebook page will provide any watches or warnings issued by the National Weather Service tomorrow.