Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nashville Tornado - 7/26/10 - "Being Chased"

On July 26, 2010 I had the opportunity to attend my seventh (7th - you heard right) Paul McCartney concert. This one was at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. With me were my son Matthew and my dear friends from school days Rob and Johnny. The concert was amazing. You may be asking, "What does this have to do with weather?" Good question!  It turned out that while the four of us, along with thousands of other fans were waiting for the doors to open to the arena, a severe thunderstorm with intense lightning and what was later to be confirmed by the National Weather Service Nashville to be an EF1 tornado was in the area. Instead of chasing storms, we were being chased!

The image above shows what the sky looked like from Bridgestone arena. While standing in a sea of people waiting to get in, we could hear the thunder getting louder and closer. In what I considered a very questionable response, the arena refused to open the doors early, leaving fans exposed to the approaching severe weather.

Around this time, an EF1 tornado was in progress about 7 miles to our north. It was on the ground for about 1/2 mile and had winds in the 105-110 mile per hour range. According to the NWS Nashville:

"Areas along Westchester Drive experienced much more significant damage. Approximately 12 brick homes suffered heavy roof damage, including one which had a large section of the roof removed. Two buildings were impaled by two by fours, and a couple of dozen windows were blown out. The damage pattern in this area was characterized by convergence and obvious rotation consistent with a tornado. Damage that occurred was also consistent with the highest end of the EF-1 range, 105 to 110 mph."
I will never forget that the instant we walked in the doorway to the arena, lightning struck right outside, perhaps hitting one of the tall buildings in the area. To my knowledge, everyone got in safely but it was a close call. I plan on going back through my files to see if I happen to have any video of the weather outside prior to the concert. The concert itself was awesome, by the way!

Here are some more photos! And below is my video of Paul performing "Something"!

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