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Severe Weather Safety and Survival

Severe Weather Climatology

It is important to understand what part of the year, and what time of the day, severe weather is most likely. Those should be the times when your severe weather awareness is highest, as it is when you are most likely to be adversely impacted. Bear in mind though that tornadoes and severe weather can occur at any time of the year, day or night.

The Storm Prediction Center has a comprehensive online severe weather climatology page that includes useful links and interesting facts. You also may want to visit the following links:

A Tornado Climatology of Middle Tennessee (1830-2003)

Middle Tennessee Severe Weather Climatology

Calendar of Significant Weather Events in Middle Tennessee

When do tornadoes happen?

In Tennessee, tornadoes can happen at any time of the year. While we think of tornado season as being from March through the end of May, we can see storms in any month. Remember that storms don't have a calendar, and don't care what month it is. As long as the right conditions come together, tornadoes can happen in December or August as easily as they can in April. A tornado has been recorded in Tennessee in every month of the year. Notice that the graphic below that in November is our secondary severe weather season.

Tornadoes in Oklahoma and Western North Texas (1950-2007)

Most tornadoes occur between 3 pm and 9 pm. But we have had tornadoes after dark, which adds to the danger, the need to be prepared, and the need to have a plan to be safe.


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