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March 25, 2021 Tornadoes & Severe Thunderstorms

A potent weather system on March 25, 2021 led to an outbreak of  tornadoes across Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee...some of which were strong to violent. As early as six days prior (March 20), the Storm Prediction Center was highlighting "another bout of severe potential to much of the South" in their Day 4-8 Convective Outlook. Computer models began to agree on a severe weather setup for March 25th, and concerns for a significant tornado outbreak were rising.

Synoptically, there were a handful of question marks that meteorologists were keeping a close eye on ahead of and during the March 25th severe weather event. A surface low pressure center was expected to cross over the Mississippi River sometime in the early to mid afternoon. Some high resolution models suggested that the low pressure would "deepen", or strengthen, as it crossed into the Missouri bootheel and northwest Tennessee. Other guidance was less impressive, with a weaker low positioned farther south (west-central TN). In addition, a stronger low-level jet was forecast to move atop the Southeastern U.S. during peak heating hours. Instability and the advance of a northward-moving warm front were in question, but the wind dynamics appeared favorable for a severe weather outbreak. Ultimately, more robust ingredients for strong/violent tornadoes remained over Alabama.

However, a mid-afternoon cluster of thunderstorms did produce large hail and damaging winds across Davidson and Sumner Counties. Impressive video and photos were captured around the Nashville Metro as these storms moved from south to north, showing a fast-moving curtain of rain and hail. As instability modestly increased south of Interstate 40 in the evening, three tornadoes impacted southern Middle TN. Portions of Wayne, Lawrence, Lewis, Rutherford, and Wilson Counties all sustained some form of damage from tornadoes during the evening hours of March 25th. More information on the large hail, damaging winds, and subsequent tornadoes can be found in detail below.

SPC storm reports
March 25, 2021 SPC Storm Reports
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