Nature is a very wonderful thing. It is pretty versatile too as it can fill you with peace in a second and can petrify you the other second. Tornadoes are one such occurrence in nature that amazes you as well as fastens your heart rate out of fear. You must have seen a lot of tornado footage on news channels. They show destruction, pain, and even deaths. The United States of America experiences the most tornadoes in the world. They face approximately 1200 tornadoes every year. In the United States, the tornadoes in Tennessee are the deadliest but do you know why? Do you know how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year occur?
1. What is a Tornado? How do they occur?
Tornadoes are mostly harmless cyclone of air that connects the earth’s surface and a storm cloud. These vertical funnels of rapid spinning air can reach a speed of about 250 miles per hour. Most tornadoes have a lifespan of only a few minutes. They are born during thunderstorms and are often accompanied by hail. They tear up everything that comes in their path. The sounds coming from a tornado can be roars, grumbles, and whirs. Tornadoes are also called twisters.
A large thunderstorm is the parent of a tornado. When warm and humid air rises inside thunderclouds and collides with cool air falls with hails or rains cyclones are formed. Under these conditions, spinning air currents develop inside the cloud. The spinning currents are initially horizontal but can also turn vertical. This connects the cloud to the earth’s surface and starts a tornado. (See How are Typhoons formed?)
Supercells are large thunderstorms that have winds already in rotation. They produce the deathliest tornadoes around the world. Tornadoes most commonly occur in the summer season. There’s a higher probability of a tornado occurring in the afternoon than day or night as in the afternoon the sun had heated the earth’s surface and atmosphere. It is ideal to produce thunderstorms. To know how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year, dive into the next segment. Also, check out the 8 Sand Storms facts.
2. How many Tornadoes in Tennessee Per Year?
Tennessee experienced an average of 11.3 tornadoes annually from 1980 to 99 but this number went up to 18.1 from 2000 to 2019. The total number of tornados faced annually by this state went up to 35 in 2020 and 66 in 2021. From 2022, till 31st March, this region has experienced very few tornadoes. So the answer to how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year changes every year depending on the natural situation. Also, check out how do mountains affect dry areas like Nevada?
3. How long is Tornado Season in Tennessee?
Springtime is bliss for the world for Tenessee though the case is otherwise. During this time temperature experiences variations like snowfall or severe weather. This can result in cyclones, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Though tornadoes in this state are a year-round affair, the tornado season peaks here in February, March, and April. According to the National Weather Service, around November, this region experiences fall tornado season. (See What does the Thermometer and Snowflake mean on Weather App?)
4. Where do most Tornadoes occur in Tennessee?
Besides how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year, you must note that Middle and West Tennessee face more number of tornadoes as their area is flatter and more exposed. Currently, a lot more tornadoes are being recorded because of technological advancements and social media. Must read what are physical features in Geography?
5. List of Tornadoes in Tennessee 2020
Tennessee is a southeastern state in the USA. It is a very active area for tornadoes. In 2020, the USA faced 1,056 confirmed cases of tornadoes out of which 35 tornadoes were in the state of Tennessee alone. The table below will show you the distribution of tornadoes throughout Tennessee in the year 2020. It also has EF ratings of the tornadoes which are based on the wind speed and damage. The EF scale gives a rating from 1 to 5. The higher the rating on the EF scales the greater the damage.
|14||MAR 2||BENTON / HUMPHREYS(1 death)||2|
|16||MAR 3||DAVIDSON/ WILSON/ SMITH
|18||MAR 3||PUTNAM (19 deaths)||4|
|24||APR 12||HAMILTON/ BRADLEY (2 deaths)||3|
|27||APR 12||BRADLEY/ POLK||1|
|28||APR 25||WILSON/ SMITH||1|
The total number of cyclones in east Tennessee, West Tennessee, and mid-Tennessee are 6,9, and 21 respectively. One cyclone crossed from west Tennessee to mid-Tennessee and is counted in both. (See Hottest Desert in the World)
6. List of Tornadoes in Tennessee 2021
In the year 2021, Tennessee had 66 tornadoes. One of the worst tornado outbreaks hit the United States of America on the evening of 10th December that lasted till the morning of 11th December. A total of 21 tornadoes occurred in middle Tennessee alone during December. The table below shows the distribution and EF ratings of the tornadoes that occurred. The table is based on the data acquired till October 11, 2021.
|2||MAR 25||WAYNE/ LAWRENCE/ LEWIS||2|
|5||MAR 27||CHESTER/ HENDERSON||1|
|16||MAY 4||CHEATHAM/ DAVIDSON||0|
|19||MAY 4||ROBERTSON/ SUMNER||0|
|21||MAY 4||ROBERTSON/ SUMNER||0|
|24||MAY 4||SUMNER/ TROUSDALE||0|
7. List of Tornadoes in Tennessee 2022
The answer to how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year till the 31st of March 2022, the fact is that Tenessee has reported 4 tornadoes. Out of which 1 occurred in middle Tennessee and the rest 3 occurred in west Tennessee. (See What are the Names of Coldest Places on Earth?)
8. What is Tornado Alley?
Tornado Alley is the region of the United States that are at risk to face frequent and devastating tornadoes. They have a high potential for tornado development. In these areas, the collision of contrasting air masses produces violent and strong thunderstorms. Here the hot and humid air traveling from the north from the Gulf of Mexico meets with the cool air moving south from Canada. (Also read Is the Eye of a Hurricane Calm?)
9. What is Tornado Alley in the US?
All the fifty states of the USA experience tornadoes but a cluster of states in the mid-western USA are more prone to tornadoes. Tornado Alley is a nickname given to these specific regions of the USA where tornadoes are common. The collision of the contrasting air masses produces violent and strong thunderstorms. These thunderstorms then lay the path for violent tornadoes. The regions included in the alley are parts of Texas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois, Lowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Nebraska. (See Where Is The Eye Of The Hurricane?)
10. Is Tennessee part of Tornado Alley or not?
Apart from how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year, do you think Tornado alley has something to do with the numbers? Well, no. Moreover, Tennessee is not a part of Tornado Alley. It is in fact a part of the Dixie Alley. This term is used to describe the southeastern parts of the United States who are at a higher risk of developing tornadoes. (See Shipwrecks In The Ocean)
11. Are Tennessee’s Tornadoes are the Deadliest Kind in the Country?
Now that we know how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year disrupt people’s lives, let us also learn which of them are the deathliest. The southeastern part of the United States faces the most fatal tornadoes and 73% of them occur at night when the people are sleeping without an opportunity to respond to the warning. This is because the nighttime tornadoes are faster than daytime tornadoes and are less predictable. (See Why are people afraid of storms?)
Tenessee also belongs to the Dixie Alley which is why it is also at a higher risk to develop deadly tornadoes. The dense population living in a smaller area here causes an influx in damage. Moreover, a lot of people here live in mobile homes. These mobile homes are the worst places to be during a tornado. So, as you are now aware of how many tornadoes in Tennessee per year, you can try and plan ahead and take care of yourself and your family before the season comes. (See How many People have Died on The Stratosphere?)