PHOTO: Cloudy skies at Harlinsdale Farm 0n April 1, 2018./Brooke Wanser
By BROOKE WANSER
As Pilgrimage Festival bursts onto the scene in Franklin this weekend, so, too, could thunderstorms and rainshowers.
Don’t panic yet. “The weather is a flexible and dynamic thing,” Franklin’s Assistant Fire Chief Todd Horton said.
Horton said Franklin emergency management personnel will be on site in the same trailer as Pilgrimage staff for ease of communication, and will have constant contact with a meteorologist during the event.
Evacuation notices will be decided based on the distance between any lightning and the festival and how fast a storm is moving.
There are three threat levels in the case of bad weather: first, patrons will be notified if there’s a storm approaching; second, they will be notified if a storm continues to approach and third, notifications about leaving the site will be issued.
Generally speaking, Horton said, “It depends on the speed of the storm, but six miles from the venue in any direction will precipitate us asking people to go to their vehicles.” Attendees would typically be allowed back into the venue after 30 minutes with no lightning sightings in a 10 mile radius.
“Everything is a variable based on information provided to us from the meteorologist,” he added.
During a thunderstorm, Horton said, the easiest way to get people to safety is to ask them to shelter in their vehicles.
For those who didn’t drive to the event, the Factory will be opened as a shelter location. Horton also said four other locations could be used as a shelter in case of an emergency.
At the festival, safety messages will pop up on screen after a band completes their set, allowing guests to stay aware of the weather.
For real-time alerts from Franklin Police and Fire Department, text “Pilgrimage” to 888777.
Here’s the forecast for this weekend, from the National Weather Service.
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. North wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 67. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 78. Calm wind becoming east northeast around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.
A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a low around 67. East northeast wind around 5 mph.