Just after midnight Monday into Tuesday local time in Nashville, TN a tornado touched down and stayed on the ground for more than 50 miles as it moved east and destroyed homes, buildings and took lives. After the carnage the National Weather Service in Nashville sent out a survey team to analyze the damage and classify the cause of the destruction.
Initially reporting back with several damage surveys, the NWS team indicated a linear path of destruction that, as it turned out, was from one “long tracked” tornado. Basically connecting the dots between the surveys and coming to the conclusion that the destruction in Nashville and east was the result of a single long tracked tornado. A second tornado was surveyed near Cookville, TN, and although not as long, it was just as deadly and destructive.
The first tornado touched down 3.6 miles WSW of John C. Tune Airport in the western portion of Nashville at 12:32 Central time and proceeded east at an average speed of 50 mph. Intensifying to an EF-3 tornado at least three times during the track, several fatalities were reported along with the devastation. At it’s widest point the twister was 800 yards across as it devastated the three counties in central Tennessee of Davidson, Wilson and Smith. On the ground for 53.4 miles and nearly one hour, the cyclone dissipated 3.7 miles west of Gordonsville in Smith county.
A second tornado was surveyed in Putman county and is believed to be part of the same storm complex. This tornado is reported to be an EF-4 tornado with max winds near 175 mph. More information will be given on this twister as it becomes available, but several fatalities have been reported with this event as well.
Just to give a little perspective on this long tracked tornado, if you were to take the track and superimposed the line in our viewing area, it would track from Roanoke to Lynchburg.