Tornadoes in July: How often do they happen in Tennessee?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — July is not a month that you normally think of tornadoes here in Middle Tennessee. And indeed, it has been four years since the last one occurred during this month in Humphreys County on July 5, 2017.

But in 2015, Tennessee set a record for the number of tornadoes in July.

That’s when a total of nine tornadoes occurred in Tennessee, eight of them here in the Midstate.

On July 2, there was one in Davidson County, and four in Wilson County, all EF-0s.

On July 13 and 14, there was a total of four tornadoes: one EF-0 in Clay County, and three EF-1s that occurred in Pickett and Fentress Counties, Putnam County, and Monroe County, which is in East Tennessee.

On July 2, one of the most memorable tornadoes in Wilson County touched down right near the Wilson County Fairgrounds, where several trees were blown down and an information booth was destroyed. It traveled a little over a mile before lifting northeast of Bluebird Road where more trees were blown down, one falling onto and crushing a pickup truck. It was rated an EF-0 with 75 mile per hour winds.

Wilson County Fairgrounds July 14, 2015

Three other EF-0’s touched down in Wilson County that day, causing sporadic damage to trees, power lines and poles, roofs, and several outbuildings. They were also EF-0s with winds of 65, 75, and 80 miles per hour.

On July 14, the EF-1 tornado that occurred in Cookeville produced maximum winds of 105 miles per hour, touching down near Double Springs Road and Highway 70, then moving southeast before lifting near I-40 and Park West Drive.

Tornado in Cookeville on July 14, 2015

A total of 30 homes, barns, and outbuildings suffered minor to moderate damage along the path, and one business on Buffalo Valley Road suffered extensive damage. Numerous trees and power lines were also blown down.

The other two Middle Tennessee tornadoes on the 13th & 14th was in Pickett and Fentress Counties and Clay County. That one lifted in Cumberland County, Kentucky. They were also EF-1s, with maximum winds of 95 and 80 miles per hour, respectively.

And check out this hail in the Cookeville area! I posted this picture taken by Glen Johnson on my Facebook page. The hail was reported to be the size of baseballs and apples.

Large hail was also reported in Wilson, Williamson, Jackson, Fentress, and White Counties.

So, don’t forget. Severe weather and tornadoes can and do occur in July. So, stay weather alert, even in the summer time.

Special thanks to our National Weather Service who compiled this information into two great stories on their website. You can read them here:

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