Middle Tennessee Fertile Soil

Has relatively fertile soil; the soil’s composition is of a limestone origin. The streams of middle Tennessee have deposited rich alluvium. The soil is also mildly acidic and rocky, but I already knew about the acidic soil since I grow raspberries and blueberries, they require a lower pH than most plants, so I test the pH of the soil often. Tennessee has a moderate climate, with cool winters, warm summers, and receives roughly 50 inches of rain annually. These climate conditions are ideal for my yellow raspberry plants and my rabbiteye blueberry bushes! The weather can be quite unpredictable in middle Tennessee, as some of you may already know, Nashville, Mt Juliette, and Cookeville were all hit very hard by a tornado just last week.

Then just about a decade ago, the majority of Nashville was destroyed by a massive flood, May 1, 2010. The unpredictable nature of middle Tennessee’s weather is what lead to the tornado being so destructive; this is not the first time a dangerous tornado ripped through middle Tennessee.

On March 14, 1933, and April 16, 1998, two similar tornadoes took a similar path, and the path of the 2020 tornado passes through the 1933 tornado’s path and the 1998 tornado’s path. These storms first began as supercell storms; a supercell is the least common type of thunderstorm. The presence of a mesocyclone characterizes a supercell thunderstorm. A mesocyclone is an intense, continually rotating updraft. This continual updraft forms when wind shears and updraft meet, they then form the mesocyclone.

As for the flood, there were numerous factors at play that lead to the intense destruction the flood caused.

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I will first delve into a quick history of the 2009 expansion of Nashville; in 2009, Nashville began a wide-scale expansion, which meant wetland destruction and creation and repair of roadways. Wetlands are important for many reasons, but in this case, the importance of the wetlands involved them acting as a sponge, to absorb excess water, and prevent massive amounts of water runoff. The roads built in 2009 had a low porosity, which means they did not allow much water to seep through, leading to increased amounts of water runoff. I should also add previously there had been a drought in middle Tennessee that had lasted around four years; this drought lead to soil becoming very dry, making it very easy for erosion to occur.

The last factor that made for such a severe flooding event was the amount of rainfall in such a short window of time. The precipitation that caused the flood formed in the span of one weekend, most large scale floods take much longer to develop. When all the water hit at once, it just kept going, with no wetlands to absorb or slow down any of that water. The nonporous roadways also allowed the runoff to spread even further. While this flooding lead to massive widespread destruction, there were a few silver linings,

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