No Warning Provided For Weekend Tornado

Posted at 7:34 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 21:35:57-05

Weekend storms brought numerous tornadoes to Tennessee and Kentucky over the weekend, no warning or watch was issued prior to one of the seven tornadoes that hit the region.

The National Weather Service issued a watch or warning for all the others except for the tornado that hit Robertson County and went north into Logan County, Kentucky.

6 Tornados Confirmed In Tennessee, Kentucky

"Mother Nature gave birth to a tornado and it fell right on those houses over there," R.L. Douglas, EMA Director in Robertson County, said. 

According to the NWS, the radar did not suggest any rotation. It was simply heavy rain when it was heading toward the border of Tennessee and Kentucky, but that changed too quickly, and the warning signs were too little too late. 

"We always tell people, if you are in or near a tornado watch, you have a threat to see tornadoes," said Krissy Hurley, the warning coordination meteorologist at NWS Nashville.

There were tornado warnings from that cell further west in Tennessee, but the storm hadn't produced any rotation into Middle Tennessee - not even any thunderstorms, which the NWS takes seriously.

"We don't issue severe thunderstorm warnings just for regular thunderstorms," Hurley said. "With severe thunderstorm warnings, we're expecting damaging winds, 58 miles per hour or higher, or large hail, and we can also see spin-up quick tornadoes." 

NWS officials wish they could have provided a watch or warning for Robertson County, but there were no signs of tornadic activity, which doesn't happen often.

They know later warnings in Clarksville helped save lives when the radar made it clear that bad weather with possible tornadoes was on its way. 

"People got the warning 20, 30, 40 minutes ahead of time. Got the warning on their cell phone, got the warning from their TV, went to their safe place, and no doubt, saved lives," Hurley explained.

Weather is not a perfect science, and experts say it's always best to stick with local weather forecasts when the weather gets bad. 

"I'd rather be ready for a tornado and not have one than not be ready and get one," Douglas said.