There was no indications of a tornado spawning in Cumberland County Thursday until it was already formed.
That is according to National Weather Service Forecaster Sam Shamburger. Shamburger said the weak storm just decided to wrap up and created the EF-0 tornado in the Pleasant Hill area.
“It had been going on for about an hour prior to reaching Cumberland County, and it was showing some very weak rotation aloft at times, but nothing of concern to us,” Shamburger said. “It wasn’t unfortunately until after it struck the Pleasant Hill community that it started to look more of a concern and warranted a tornado warning at that point.”
Shamburger said April is the peak month for tornadoes in Tennessee. Shamburger said thanks to storm spotters, the National Weather Service was able to issue a tornado warning before radar data confirmed the rotation.
“That’s why we always say the storm spotter network across the country is really the eyes of the national weather service,” Shamburger said. “They can see what is going on in the time it takes us to complete a radar scan. So, they were able to see the tornado before it even showed up on our radar and that was very helpful for us to get out the warning for other parts of Cumberland County.”
Shamburger said forecasters look for concentrated rotation in the southwestern portions of storms when issue warnings.