National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Results from surveys conducted after severe storms on Memorial Day, 2004


A line of thunderstorms moved across Middle Tennessee during the late evening and early morning of May 30-31, 2004. A tornado watch was in effect for the entire area. Several warnings had been issued for the western part of the area. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 12:22 a.m. that included Marshall County. The warning highlighted a line of severe thunderstorms moving eastward at 60 miles an hour. The warning also included a statement concerning the tornado watch.

Strong straight-line winds occurred in the town of Cornersville in southern Marshall County at 12:30 a.m. These winds were estimated at 70 miles an hour. The winds toppled trees across the town in a line from southwest to northeast. The storm track was about three-quarters of a mile long (see Figure 1 map). The downed trees caused structural damage to homes and out-building, and damaged several vehicles. All trees fell in the same direction. Residents reported hearing a roaring and shaking when the wind occurred. No injuries were reported.

Figure 1: Map of damage area in Cornersville

After completing an assessment of damage which occurred during the early morning of May 31 in Giles County, it has been judged that storm damage there was the cause of straight line winds, and not a tornado. The damage occurred 1 mile southeast of Minor Hill in southwestern Giles County at approximately 12:30 a.m. One home sustained heavy damage, with the roof and two walls destroyed. This is also the home in which a 7-year-old girl was killed. Based on the damage, it is believed that a microburst caused surface winds of 120-125 miles an hour.

It has been determined that an F1 tornado did hit the Conway community southeast of Pulaski on Highway 31 sometime between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m.