Hail, wind, possible tornadoes on the way

Hail, wind, possible tornadoes on the way

April 4th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

Storms are supposed to hit the Chattanooga area in earnest this evening and meteorologists say wind gusts could reach speeds of 65 miles an hour.

"Damaging straight line winds and large hail are the main threats with these storms," the National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Outlook states. "Isolated tornadoes will also be a concern mainly across the Cumberland Plateau and Southern Half of the Tennessee Valley."

The weather service also predicts the more than two inches of rain could fall in some areas.

The worst of the storms are expected to hit Middle and Western Tennessee, Northwest Alabama and Northern Mississippi.

A Tornado Watch was issued for Davidson and Rutherford counties just after 2 p.m. central time, joining a host of other storm watches and warnings across the state.

The storms knocked out electricity to about 50,000 customers in Memphis. There are scattered reports of wind damage but no indication of any tornado touchdowns.

School systems throughout northwestern and western Alabama are dismissing students early because of the possibility strong storms would move across the state. Forecasters say those storms should begin moving into the state around the time classes would normally be dismissing for the day.

The day began with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, but the coming front will drop them into the 30s by dawn Tuesday, and there could be some scattered frost.

Temperatures are expected to rebound quickly at mid-week.

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