Unforgettable: What happened in Nashville and in cities and towns west of Nashville along the Tennessee River Valley and Cumberland River Valley on May 1st, 2010 was nothing short of heart-breaking and breath-taking. I will never forget following the ridiculous amounts of rain on radar which seemed to just keep growing heavier and heavier while moving slower and slower. I'll also never forget the setup as a long moisture feed being drawn straight from the tropical waters of the Caribbean bordering on South America. The resultant flood from this moisture-pull and tropical connection was a two-day event which left people homeless and created somewhere in the ballpark of $3-billion in damage.
The Setup: According to the National weather Service in Nashville TN (here), "fifteen (15) observation sites had rainfall measurements exceeding the maximum observed rainfall associated with Hurricane Katrina landfall." Furthermore, "the heaviest rainfall occurred in a swath across Davidson, Williamson, Dickson, Hickman, Benton, Perry, and Humphreys Counties with an average of 14 to 15 inches of rain which is equivalent to 420 billion gallons of water in just two days." According to the Memphis Office of the National Weather Service: "A significant weather system brought very heavy rain and severe thunderstorms from Saturday, May 1 through Sunday morning, May 2. A stalled frontal boundary coupled with very moist air streaming northward from the Gulf set the stage for repeated rounds of heavy rainfall. Many locations along the I-40 corridor across western and middle Tennessee reported in excess of 10 to 15 inches, with some locations receiving up to 20 inches according to Doppler radar estimates."
Here are a couple of sites with related articles worth checking out:
Could It Happen Again?: Well, YEA! Just ask the warming channel. Yes, it could happen tomorrow for crying out loud.
NO! No, it couldn't. Many meteorologists are calling this a 100-year flood, but to me it may even be more rare than that. Let's face it, those warming channel shows which focus on extreme weather events are all about ratings and much less about accuracy or sound meteorology.
The photos used were from (1) ladditude.blogspot.com (2) cookvilleweatherguy.com (3) WHNT and (4) WSMV