Axios Nashville

Picture of the Nashville skyline.
December 14, 2021

Happy Tuesday!

Today's weather: Mostly sunny with a high of 64.

Today's newsletter is 805 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Climate change and tornadoes

Data: Gensini, V.A., Brooks, H.E. Spatial trends in United States tornado frequency. npj Clim Atmos Sci 1, 38 (2018). Note: Favorable tornado days refers to days with a high value of a metric known as the significant tornado parameter. Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Scientists are pointing to increasing signs that climate change is altering tornado outbreaks in ways that appear to make them bigger and more damaging, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

Why it matters: Climate change is raising the odds of dangerous severe weather outbreaks across the South and Mid-South, particularly during the fall and winter when the jet stream dives toward the region.

  • Our risk is gradually increasing compared to the Plains states, and tornado occurrence is becoming more variable from year to year. A new study shows that as temperatures increase, so do key ingredients for severe weather outbreaks.
  • The weekend outbreak illustrates an extreme scenario of what can happen when all the ingredients that cause devastating tornadoes come together in spades. These include a record warmth combined with humid air mass and powerful winds that shift in speed/direction with height, known as wind shear.

The big picture: The latest outbreak stands apart from anything previously seen during the month of December. In some respects, what occurred was worse than anything that came before it, no matter what month you look at.

  • The supercell thunderstorm that tracked for more than 250 miles from Arkansas into Kentucky spawned either a single tornado or a group of twisters that may have broken the record for the longest tornado path length in U.S. history.
  • At least 88 people were killed, including 74 in Kentucky and four in Tennessee.

What's happening: It's not a coincidence that Friday night's outbreak came on a day of record warmth and high humidity throughout the Mid-South and South.

  • In Memphis, the high on Friday was 80°F, a record high and 25°F above average for the date.
  • The warm, humid air — more typical of April or May — created a powder keg that, when combined with a roaring jet stream and strong cold front, exploded.

Read the full story.

2. Moving to Nashville

Reproduced from LinkedIn. Chart: Axios Visuals

Workers moving to Nashville from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City are driving our region's continued growth, according to data released this month by LinkedIn.

  • For every 10,000 LinkedIn members currently based in Nashville, nearly 11 moved from L.A. in the last year.
  • The trend comes as more workers move to our metro area for jobs in tech, health care, and other industries.

3. Your holiday gift guide: booze, meat and CBD

Hands shown wrapping chocolate bars in paper wrappers. Finished packaged bars are stacked around the table.
An employee wrapping chocolate bars at Olive and Sinclair Chocolate. Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP

We asked for your local holiday gift ideas last week and you came through with some great ideas for Nashville-centric gifts to send to out-of-towners.

🥞 Lola P. says that if she fails to have curated more thoughtful gifts for family in other states, her go-to is Loveless Cafe.

  • "You can get gift baskets with Loveless biscuit/pancake/waffle mix and Loveless jams/syrup," she says.

🍫 Kalee K. suggests chocolate from Olive and Sinclair. She also recommends Nashville-area alcohol, such as beer from Yazoo and Blackstone breweries or a bottle of old reliable Gentleman Jack.

🧺 Anna G. says if you're looking to create a gift set composed of all local goods, Nashvillians should check out Batch.

  • "They create gift sets composed of all local goods," she says. "They are great to work with, their price points are wide-ranging, and all the items are great."
  • Prices start at $39.

🥩 Hannah C. singles out STK Steakhouse meat market — they also have gift card deals for the holiday — and Campesino rum. She also recommends CBD oil from Anzie Blue in Hillsboro Village.

🐾 Not all your ideas were food and booze-related. Kalee also recommends uniquely Nashville pet gifts from Wags & Whiskers.

  • Ryan M. suggested sweatshirts from Rooted (they start at $60).

🦒 Finally, Debbie C. says a membership to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere makes a great gift.

  • "With the opening of their new playground, I know our grandchildren will want to be there every week!"

4. The Setlist

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🦠 Alex Jahangir, chair of the Nashville Coronavirus Task Force, says local COVID-19 cases have increased by about 30% since Thanksgiving. (The Tennessean)

⛈ One of the men behind @NashSevereWx discusses the mental toll of tracking dangerous storms. (WPLN)

Four men, including a Texas businessman and two former Marines, were charged in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire scheme that left two people dead in Nashville. (WSMV)

5. How to help tornado victims

An american flag standing in front of rubble left behind from a tornado.
Rubble left after tornadoes hit Dawson Springs, Kentucky. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is accepting donations to provide relief and recovery help to local communities affected by last weekend's tornadoes.

  • Donations can be made through its website.
  • At least 11 tornadoes hit Middle Tennessee, causing property damage and leaving thousands without power. The toll was far worse in Kentucky and West Tennessee.

Axios' Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath reports on ways to donate money, give blood, volunteer, and provide other assistance to tornado victims in Kentucky and other states.

Editor's note: The description of the Oasis Center in yesterday’s story about Hal Cato has been corrected to note that it's a nonprofit providing counseling and other services to youths, not an addiction recovery center.

Our picks:

🏈 Nate is reading this fantastic profile of Titans coach Mike Vrabel by the legendary pro football reporter Bob McGinn.

💿 Adam is loving Nate's favorite songs of 2021, as featured in our Axios Nashville playlist.