Severe storms pack a punch in Middle Tennessee

A man used his cell phone to capture images of a funnel cloud in Gallatin, Tennessee...Gallatin is one of several Nashville suburbs that were hit hard by a series of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

The storm damaged buildings and tossed cars into the road leaving them crumpled and on their sides...

Two mobile homes were destroyed in the Gallatin area, apparently smashed together by the high winds.  People were seen digging through the massive pile of rubble...a woman and her dog managed to survive.

Action News 5 meteorologist John Bryant says the recipe for today's severe weather was written in the atmosphere.

Bryant says, "We had a lot of warm moist unstable in the summertime around here, we have that, but today we had certain forcing mechanisms to make that air rise."

Those forcing mechanisms included a deep area of low pressure and strong jet stream winds.

Bryant continues, "That not only made the storms move very rapidly, it provided extra energy and enhanced the storms even further."

Putting much of the MidSouth under a rarely seen HIGH risk for severe weather.

"It's not unusual that we have thunderstorms this time of year and not even that unusual to have severe is unusual to be under that high of a risk for severe weather it doesn't happen very often," Bryant continues.