March now the 2nd highest month for tornadoes in Middle TN

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With severe weather possibilities in the forecast for Thursday, we are reminded of how active the month of March can be.

As a matter of fact, last year’s March tornado outbreak pushed this month to the second spot for highest number of tornadoes per month. 162 tornadoes have been recorded in March from 1811 to 2020.

Krissy Hurley the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Nashville office of the National Weather Service pointed out, “In Middle Tennessee, April is the number one tornado month.” She continued, “Last year, with the March 2nd-3rd tornado outbreak, it actually was able to surpass the month of May. And so, now, March is the second most active tornado month in Middle Tennessee. So, it used to be April, May, March, now it’s April, March, May.”

“We’ve had deadly tornado outbreaks in the month of March in 1925, 1933, and last year, 2020,” Hurley said.

And that includes Nashville’s deadliest tornado, March 14, 1933 when an F-3 took a very similar path to the 2020 March 3rd tornado. The pictures out of East Nashville were astounding as the tornado widened from 200-400 yards to 500-800 yards with winds averaging between 158-207 mph.

Courtesy National Weather Service

March also brought one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks for Middle Tennessee on March 18, 1925, when at least three deadly tornadoes struck central portions of Middle Tennessee. The tornadoes killed at least 42 people in Tennessee (34 in Middle TN). An estimated F-4 tornado that hit Sumner County was one of the deadliest tornadoes in Middle Tennessee history, killing 27 or more people and wiping numerous homes off their foundations.

The key to survival is to be prepared. “Make sure that you have a place to go in case a tornado warning is issued,” said Hurley. “The lowest floor, an interior room, with as many walls between you and the outside as possible, if you don’t have an underground storm shelter or designated storm shelter.”

It’s also a good idea to have shoes, a flashlight, and car keys in that safe place.

Courtesy National Weather Service
Courtesy National Weather Service

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