Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 28, 2013

High winds sweep county

By Heather Mullinix
Assistant editor

CROSSVILLE — Straight-line winds swept through Cumberland County Monday night and early Tuesday morning, leaving downed trees and other damage in its wake.

Wind gusts reached 59 miles per hour, said Steve Norris, Crossville meteorologist.

"That's one of the highest straight-line winds we've had in the county," Norris said, adding straight-line winds affected a majority of the county. This is unlike tornado activity that affects a portion of the community.

"The low pressure system was unusually strong," he added. "Those strong low pressure systems are one reason others areas of the country have had so many blizzards this winter."

Keith Garrison, director of Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, said there were isolated power outages caused by trees falling on power lines, but there were no injuries or displacements that had been reported to his office.

Looking forward, wind gusts will continue today, but Norris believes the worst of the wind storm has passed. The strong low pressure system is ushering in several days of sustained cold and snow, however.

"We'll have little snows at night and it will warm up during the days to keep the roads clear, but then snow again at night," Norris said. That could cause some slick spots on roads and light accumulation. "That system is going to hang around several days."

He expects a warming trend after Saturday.

Continuing on into spring, Norris believes continued strong low pressure systems could contribute to an unusually active tornado season.

"We're lucky this didn't happen in April when it's warmer," he said. "We'll have a risk of tornadoes as spring comes in."