National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

December 10-11, 2021 Tornado Outbreak


One of the worst tornado outbreaks ever recorded in the United States struck the Midwest, Ohio Valley, and Tennessee Valley from the evening hours on December 10 into the morning hours on December 11, 2021. What made this tornado outbreak even more unusual was that it occurred in the month of December, and is easily the worst tornado outbreak ever during that month. Dozens of tornadoes affected Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, killing 87 people and injuring dozens of others.  Across Middle Tennessee, a total of 16 tornadoes were determined to have touched down  - four EF-2 tornadoes, five EF-1 tornadoes, and seven EF-0 tornadoes - making this the 5th largest tornado outbreak on record in Middle Tennessee. These tornadoes injured 8 people across Middle Tennessee and caused millions of dollars in property and tree damage in many counties. Several of the tornadoes were also reanalyzed in March 2023 based on newly available high resolution satellite imagery, with their ratings, path lengths, and path widths updated.

These tornadoes, combined with the 5 tornadoes that occurred just a few days earlier across Middle Tennessee on December 6, 2021, set a new record for the number of tornadoes during the month of December Here are some December Tornado Stats:

  • A total of 21 tornadoes occurred across Middle Tennessee in December 2021 - five on December 6th & sixteen on December 10-11th.

  • From the 1800s through 2020, only 17 tornadoes were recorded across Middle Tennessee in the month of December

  • Many counties that had tornadoes in December 2021 had never recorded a tornado in the month of December before, including Stewart, Humphreys, Cheatham, Wilson, Trousdale, Overton, Pickett, Coffee, and Grundy Counties

  • A total of 45 tornadoes have occurred across Middle Tennessee in 2021 - the most on record, beating the previous high total of 38 in 2011

In addition to the tornadoes, widespread damaging straight-line winds also affected much of Middle Tennessee. Particularly hard hit were the southeastern sections of the Nashville Metro area, including Brentwood, Crieve Hall, Antioch, La Vergne, and the Nashville International Airport Area, where numerous buildings suffered roof damage and dozens of trees were blown down. A wind gust of 78 mph was measured at the Nashville International Airport, which is the 3rd highest wind gust ever recorded at the airport.

For more information on tornadoes across Middle Tennessee, visit our online tornado database at and view some Tennessee Tornado Stats at


December 10, 2021 SPC Storm Reports SPC Storm Reports

December 11, 2021 SPC Storm Reports SPC Storm Reports

December 10-11, 2021 Tornado Outbreak Map

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