National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


One of the worst tornado outbreaks in the history of Tennessee struck during the afternoon and evening hours of March 14, 1933. What was likely a squall line of thunderstorms (also known as a Quasi-Linear Convective System, or QLCS) with embedded supercells tracked eastward across the entire length of Tennessee, spawning numerous tornadoes and killing or injuring hundreds of people. One particular supercell likely spawned at least 9 tornadoes, several of which were estimated to be F3-F4 in intensity, as it tracked from Caruthersville, Missouri eastward to south of Paris, Tennessee, through Nashville and Lebanon, then northeastward through the East Tennessee towns of Jellico, Kingston, and Bristol. Another likely supercell tracked eastward from Jackson, Tennessee to south of Columbia through Manchester, dropping at least 3 tornadoes. Across Middle Tennessee, research by meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Nashville have determined that at least 5 tornadoes touched down, the worst of which struck downtown Nashville and remains the deadliest tornado in the history of the city.

SPC reports

nws logo Media use of NWS Web News Stories is encouraged!
Please acknowledge the NWS as the source of any news information accessed from this site.
nws logo