Top 10 Weather Anniversaries of 2013

Jon Erdman
Published: July 8, 2013

#9 April 1998 Southeast Tornadoes: 15-Year Anniversary

Visible satellite image of Kentucky and Tennessee on April 16, 1998, when a tornado hit downtown Nashville. Image credit: University of Wisconsin (UW/SSEC/CIMSS)

A pair of tornado outbreaks, one week apart, ripped through the Southeast in the heart of the 1998 tornado season.

Most of the destruction from the first outbreak came from a single supercell thunderstorm that spawned several tornadoes as it tracked east across Alabama and Georgia just north of the Interstate 20 corridor.

The most devastating of these, an F5 monster, tore through the western suburbs of Birmingham. Oak Grove, Ala., was among the hardest-hit communities. In all, 32 died from this tornado. Some of these same communities suffered another devastating blow 13 years later in the April 27 Superoutbreak.

The same cell later put down a tornado that hopscotched across the northern Atlanta suburbs of Smyrna and Dunwoody, narrowly missing The Weather Channel headquarters. One person died and thousands of homes were damaged.

Eight days later, an F3 tornado struck Downtown Nashville, striking the State Capitol and the future Tennessee Titans NFL football stadium along with at least 300 other buildings. One man died after being trapped under a fallen tree.

Our next anniversary is in the hottest spot in the world.

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