Tornado outbreak on this date in 1900


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – 119 years ago a total of 6 tornadoes causing 38 fatalities occurred in Middle Tennessee on November 20, 1900.

The most significant was an F-4 tornado that moved across Maury County and the northwest sections of Columbia. Most of the 27 fatalities occurred in the Macedonia community. This was before the modern EF scale, so an F-4 meant winds of 207-260 mph. It is considered one of the worst tornadoes in Middle Tennessee history.

Here are some newspaper pictures from the old “Nashville American” newspaper showing the damage at the U. S. Arsenal near Columbia that suffered extensive damage and the McDowell School on Mt. Pleasant Road that appears to be destroyed. 

 There was also an F-3 tornado (winds 158-206 mph) that started south-southwest of Franklin near Thompson Station and moved across the Clovercroft community, Nolensville, and LaVergne. It killed nine people.

In Hardin and Wayne counties an EF- 2 tornadoes killed two people as it moved out of Mississippi, and touched down again in southwest Middle Tennessee.

A lot of the research for these historic tornadoes was done by Thomas P. Grazulis and published in his book “Significant Tornadoes: 1680-1991” and also Sam Shamburger at the National Weather Service office in Nashville.

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