When is tornado season in Tennessee in 2022?

Tornado season in Tennessee falls during two different times of the year: A spring season in March, April, and May and a fall season in November.

Jennifer Gimbel

By

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Tennessee’s 2022 tornado season has been surprisingly mild compared to recent years, with only five twisters making landfall as of June 24, 2022, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). [1]

But when exactly is tornado season in Tennessee? And how can you make sure you’re prepared? We break down everything you need to know about tornadoes and home insurance in Tennessee.

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When is tornado season in Tennessee?

Peak tornado season in Tennessee runs March through May each year. However, there’s a secondary season in the fall that brings a high number of tornadoes during November.

Tornadoes are ripe to form when warm, moist air collides with colder air above. The combination of these two sets of winds blowing in opposite directions creates a wind shear, which then leads to the formation of a twister.

While Tennesseans experience tornadoes during all 12 months of the year, they should be especially prepared during spring and fall.

Where do tornadoes hit the most in Tennessee?

Shelby County — home to Memphis — experiences the most tornadoes of any other county in Tennessee, ringing in at 56 twisters in total from 1950 to 2021, according to the National Weather Service. The runner up is Wilson County — just outside of Nashville — which saw 54 tornadoes during that same time period. 

Tornadoes by county in Tennessee

Here’s a complete look at the total number of tornadoes in each county in Tennessee from 1950 to 2021, according to the NWS.

Tornadoes in Tennessee over the last 25 years

Since 1996, Tennessee has averaged 31 tornadoes each year, according to data from the NWS. 

Here’s a breakdown of how many twisters touched down in the Volunteer State over the last 25 years.

Total number of tornadoes by month in Tennessee

The month of April sees the most tornadoes in Tennessee, followed by May then March. The months of September, August, and July see the least amount of tornadoes.

Here’s the total number of tornadoes per month in Tennessee between 1811 and 2022, according to the NWS.

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Does home insurance in Tennessee cover tornado damage?

Homeowners insurance in Tennessee covers damage caused by tornadoes, including the wind, hail, and rain that accompany them. However, water damage from flooding that occurs during a tornado would not be covered under your standard home insurance policy — you’ll need separate flood insurance for that.

How to prepare for tornado season in Tennessee

From installing storm-proof shutters on your windows to knowing where to take shelter should a disaster strike, here are a few ways to prepare for tornado season in Tennessee.

1. Get your home ready for severe weather

This includes trimming tree limbs that hang close to your roof, removing dead trees from your yard, cleaning up any heavy debris (i.e. branches, bricks, firewood) on your property, and moving lawn furniture inside when a twister nears. If you live in an area especially prone to tornadoes, consider installing storm-proof window shutters or upgrading to an impact-resistant roof — doing this could actually result in a discount on your home insurance premiums.

2. Make an emergency kit

FEMA recommends packing a few bags with essentials you can easily grab as you take shelter when a tornado nears. [2] Some items to pack in your emergency kit include: water, non-perishable foods and baby formula, a can opener, moist towelettes and trash bags, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, portable cell phone chargers, a battery-powered radio, and a whistle to signal for help.

3. Find a place to take shelter

While no place will keep you completely safe during a tornado, hunkering down in a basement or inside a windowless room on the lowest floor of your home is your safest bet. For even more protection, take shelter under something sturdy like a heavy table or workbench, cover yourself with a blanket or mattress, and protect your head from flying debris. 

4. Know the signs of a tornado

If you live in an area of Tennessee at high risk for tornadoes, knowing what to look for during a severe weather storm can help you stay prepared. Be on the lookout for rotating, funnel-shaped clouds, low-lying clouds of debris, large hail, a dark or green-colored sky, and a loud roar that sounds like a freight train — all of these could forewarn a tornado is near.

5. Sign up for severe weather alerts

Anyone can sign up for severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service via text, email, or phone. In addition, a few cities in Tennessee including Nashville, Franklin, and Spring Hill have outdoor warning siren systems to warn residents to take shelter indoors during extreme weather conditions, including tornadoes.

6. Stay up to date on changing weather conditions

On top of signing up for weather alerts and keeping your ears to the ground for any outdoor warning sirens, staying up to date on changing weather conditions via your local news and radio stations or even through social media can help you know when a tornado is near. 

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Frequently asked questions

What month does Tennessee get tornadoes?

Tennessee residents experience tornadoes every month of the year, though the majority of twisters occur in April, May, and March.

Where is Tornado Alley in Tennessee?

Tennessee is not part of Tornado Alley, but it is in the tornado-prone Dixie Alley — the South’s version of Tornado Alley that also sees an unproportionately high number of twisters each year compared to other parts of the U.S.

Which city in Tennessee has the most tornadoes?

Shelby County — home to Memphis — sees the most tornadoes each year, totaling 56 twisters from 1950 to 2021.

References

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  1. National Weather Service

    . "

    Tennessee Tornado Stats

    ." Accessed August 01, 2022.

  2. Federal Emergency Management Agency

    . "

    How to Build a Kit for Emergencies

    ." Accessed August 01, 2022.

Author

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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