NWS Meteorologists Watch Oklahoma Tornado - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NWS Meteorologists Watch Oklahoma Tornado

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by Emily Luxen

MT. JULIET, Tenn. - As a massive tornado blew through Oklahoma, hundreds of miles away, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Mt. Juliet were glued to the TVs and radars.

"You have two emotions," said Meteorologist Trevor Boucher. "As a scientist you want to see more, but you also have a feeling of surreal helplessness.  There's nothing you can do."

Boucher said the destruction in Oklahoma reminded him of the so-called "Good Friday Tornado" that hit Murfreesboro in April of 2009.

"So many homes were impacted, the devastation wasn't as long or as wide, but it was similar," said Boucher.

The Murfreesboro tornado was just one that has impacted the mid-state in recent years.  The largest was an EF-5 that hit Lawrence County in April of 1998. 

Also in April 1998, on the same day, an EF-3 tornado blew through downtown Nashville.  In February of 2008, Macon County was hit by an EF-3 tornado.

Boucher said he's tracked hundreds of storms, some big and some small, and seeing the destruction left behind never gets any easier.

"When it comes through and impacts so many people like it did today," said Boucher. "That is something everyone is watching because everyone has family, and everyone has friends."

Boucher said each storm also brings an opportunity for meteorologists to sharpen their forecasting skills.

"We always ask, ‘what can we learn from this moving forward? Do we need more education?  More improvements on warnings?'  We will do all those things. It's a matter of what will benefit everyone the most."

Spring Severe weather season continues in Tennessee. National Weather Service Meteorologists said warmer temperatures and moisture are necessary ingredients for severe weather, and even though temperatures have been relatively cool so far, they will be keeping a close watch for any changes.

Email: eluxen@newschannel5.com
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