While Middle Tennessee is not part of “Tornado Alley”, tornadoes do frequently occur in the area.
While severe weather and tornadoes can occur at any time in Middle Tennessee, Spring is particularly active for severe weather. Nearly two-thirds of all tornadoes in Middle Tennessee have occurred during the months of March, April, and May.
April is the peak month for tornadic activity and there have been some notable tornadoes.
The Super Outbreak of 1974 brought 24 confirmed tornadoes to Middle Tennessee on Apr. 3, killing 54 and injuring 655, making it the largest tornado outbreak in Middle Tennessee history.
Lincoln County was especially hard hit by an F4 tornado that killed 22 and injured 450.
Apr. 10 marks the 10-year anniversary of the EF-4 Murfreesboro “Good Friday” tornado that destroyed 194 homes, killing a young mother and her nine-month-old baby back in 2009. This tornado left a 23.25 mile long by 1/2 mile wide path across Rutherford County. 9 other tornadoes touched down on that day.
On Apr. 16, 1998 the ninth biggest tornado outbreak in mid state history brought an F3 tornado through downtown Nashville, leading to more than $112 million in damage.
During this same outbreak, a massive nearly one-mile wide F4 tornado killed three in Wayne County and an F5 tornado heavily damaged the community of Deerfield in Lawrence county.
Many of the tornadoes, around sixty-nine percent, have been rated as F1 or F2. However, as previous events show, violent tornadoes rated F3 or higher are possible in the mid-state.
No matter what time of year it is, it’s important to be weather aware.