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I heard a report on the TV news recently about Tennessee being part of tornado alley.
They were saying that technically, it’s not. But realistically, it probably should be.
And here’s a video report from a different Tennessee TV station which states that Tennessee is in ‘the new tornado alley’ that is sometimes called Dixie Alley.
So I dug around a little to try and find some stats about Tennessee tornadoes…
Here are some interesting Tennessee tornado facts:
- Tennessee is not part of Tornado Alley but it is a part of Dixie Alley, a term coined to describe the southeastern parts of the United States that have a higher risk of developing tornadoes.
- There are more deaths in Dixie Alley because these areas have a higher population living in a smaller area and the amount of mobile homes.
- If you combine the amount of tornadoes that occur during the winter, fall, and summer months, it is still drastically less than the number of tornadoes that occur in Tennessee during the spring.
- After the spring months, November has the highest number of tornadoes.
- Almost two-thirds of tornadoes have happened in mid-Tennessee.
Some consider tornado alley as the area where only the most intense killer tornadoes are likely to occur, looking where F4 and F5 tornadoes have struck in history multiple times. Others draw tornado alley only where tornado frequency is the highest, looking at areas that have recorded multiple tornado touchdowns consistently year after year.~ Source
This is a great video explaining that Tennessee twisters are more deadly than Tornado Alley, and why it is where it is:
By the way, weather experts have stated that the term ‘tornado alley’ is simply a term coined by the media. There’s really not a scientific definition of tornado alley.
Here are some good summaries of Tennessee tornado facts:
- Average Number Of Tornadoes By State Each Year
- Tennessee Tornadoes By County (1950 to present)
- Nashville Tennessee Tornado Database (1811 to present)
- Tornado Climatology Of Middle Tennessee
- Tennessee Tornadoes (1950 to 1995)
Tornado Alley Maps
Keep in mind that tornado maps differ greatly from source to source.
Which, in itself, is interesting.
I always thought there was a clear-cut area they were talking about whenever you heard mention of ‘tornado alley’.
Here’s an interesting video showing 5 days of Tornado-generating storms moving from Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri into Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana:
Tennessee Tornado “Outbreaks”
And then there are all the times that Tennessee has experienced very active and devastating “tornado outbreaks” in a given year.
Here are a few of the most notable ones tornado outbreaks in Tennessee:
- Tennessee Had 30 Tornadoes In 2020 (more here)
- Tornado “Super Outbreak” Hit East Tennessee In April 1974
- Nashville Tornado Outbreak In March 1933
- Middle Tennessee’s Tornado Outbreak In April 1909
Check out the latest info about tornado alley… including new tornado alley maps!
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We moved from Florida to Tennessee in 2001. All signs point to the fact that we will probably retire here — by choice. We L O V E Nashville! Our favorite places to live are just south of the City — we’ve had houses in Brentwood, Franklin, and Spring Hill. And we have properties in Leipers Fork, Cookeville, and Lewisburg. This site is where I share my best tips for moving your family to Nashville and/or visiting Nashville for the first time — with the ultimate goal of helping you find fun things to do in Williamson County and Davidson County. When I’m not out & about enjoying the Nashville area, you’ll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve written over 500 articles on this site! Many of them have upwards of 100K shares.