Weather officials say the tornado that killed at least 17 people in Middle Tennessee last night is the mid-state’s deadliest twister in 75 years.
National Weather Service Meteorologists say at least two supercell thunderstorms entered the midstate around the same time last night – 8 o’clock. But it was the one started in southern Middle Tennessee on the Alabama border and ended 140 miles away in Macon County on the Kentucky border that caused the most destruction and death.
Meteorologist Mark Rose, who’s researched the history of tornadoes in middle Tennessee back to the 1830’s, says he was surprised to find out just how deadly the storm was.
“I thought at first, it was the biggest since 1974, and so I thought, well we gotta go back farther than, and it took us all the way back to 1993. There’s a lot of families affected out there, you know we kind of lose that in all the numbers and the radar imagery. It is sobering really, when you think that many people got killed.”
Meteorologists says it’s possible that there were as many as five supercells in the midstate last night. That data, along with site surveys of the damage will give them a more complete picture of the tornado in the days ahead.