Above average year for tornadoes in Middle Tennessee


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – This year Middle Tennessee has seen an above-average number of tornadoes.

However, none of them have been as devastating as those that occurred during the night of March 2nd and 3rd of last year.

So far in 2021, there have been twenty-four tornadoes reported in Middle Tennessee. The average number per year since 1950 is only nine. But most of them have been weak, and more than half of them occurred on the same day.

“We’ve had twenty-four tornadoes so far in 2021 which sounds like an active season, but fourteen of those actually occurred on the morning of May 4th. And all of those were EF-0s,” explained Matt Reagan, National Weather Service Meteorologist.

That occurred in what we call a QLCS, which is a squall line, which is a line of storms where you have these quick spin-up tornadoes. “They’re really brief, on the ground for maybe a mile or two, and usually on the weaker side. So, while we do have a high number, the number of tornado days really hasn’t been that high.”

And it’s interesting to note that nowadays, there are a lot more tornadoes reported than in the past. Why’s that?

“A big part of it is cell phones, social media,” noted Reagan. “For example, the one we had on Sunday in Mt. Juliet. Used to be, we probably would have never gotten a report of that. But, there was plenty of video out there on social media that we got reports of. And it did mangle a few trees and snap some large limbs off of them. But, say ten to fifteen years ago we probably never would have probably never heard of that tornado.”

Reagan and the National Weather Service said remember EF-0 tornadoes can still cause damage, injuries, and even fatalities. Keep a tornado plan in place to protect you and your family.

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