Tornadoes in Tennessee on 2002/11/10


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The Tornado History Project generates approximate paths through separate historical archives provided by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Paths generated from the NCDC data are typically more detailed, but neither archive gives exact path information. There are several reasons that paths may be inaccurate:

  • Tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates were recorded with only 2 digits of decimal precision (i.e. [33.72, -86.15] vs [33.71689, -86.15463]). As a consequence, the observed points on the map may be slightly off from actual. Note that beginning in 2009, up to 4 digits of decimal precision are given.
  • Coordinates have not historically been calculated via GPS (Global Positioning System). Thus, tornado touchdown and liftoff coordinates should be considered as estimates only.
  • Tornadoes may not have been in contact with the ground for the entire path as depicted on the map. Storm damage in any location depicted under the "path" should not be inferred.
  • Although paths are drawn as straight lines between any two sets of coordinates, the tornado may have "zigzagged" in some way.
  • Although paths are drawn as uniform thin lines on the map, it is likely that the tornado changed size over its lifetime. Damage in any location depicted under (or not under) the "path" should not be inferred.

Even with the above in mind, the data is the best available. If you see a path that is depicted incorrectly, please post a comment in the tornado forum indicating why you belive the path to be incorrect.

Paths generated from NCDC data are typically more detailed due to the way coordinates are listed in each archive:

  • SPC database - A maximum of 2 coordinates (touchdown and liftoff) is given for each tornado, or each state segment of a tornado if it is a multi-state tornado. Thus the vast majority of paths are depicted as simple straight lines.
  • NCDC database - Some tornadoes have mutliple sets of coordinates within any state, generally corresponding to entry and exit points by county. Thus, since more coordinates have been used to draw the path, the depicted path should be more accurate. Having said that, most tornadoes do not have additional path data in the NCDC archive. When they do, paths are drawn from the NCDC data.

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Summary   Definitions |?|

The following statistics and definitions are derived from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) historical tornado archive. The Tornado History Project can not guarantee the accuracy of the underlying data within the SPC historical tornado archive. However, the data as presented here is guaranteed to match the SPC data, except where noted.

Some definitions will not be given since they are obvious (i.e. "Date", "Time", etc...)
Special Note: This site uses a unique index number to identify each tornado. This index number is not a part of the official historical tornado archive.

E (Error) (tornado search table only) - A yellow box indicates that the tornado record contains a suspected error. A red box indicates that the tornado record contains an error and has been modified from the official source. Hover over the box for the error text.
Map/Forum (tornado search table only) - Clickable icons for further content related to a tornado.
State - The state or states affected by a tornado.
Fujita - The Fujita scale is an attempt to classify damage from a tornado. F0 being the least damaging, F5 the most. For 2007 and beyond, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) is given.
Fat. - The number of fatalities attributed to the tornado.
Inj. - The number of injuries attributed to the tornado.
Width - Width in yards. It is unclear if this indicates a maximum width or mean width.
Length - Length of tornado path in miles. Note the entire track length is not necessarily all on the ground (some tornadoes "hop and skip".)
Damage - Prior to 1996, this is a range by dollar amount. For 1996 and later, actual damage estimates are in millions.
Crop Loss - Added in 2007. Given in millions of dollars.
Lat/Lon - Contains two sets of coordinates:

  • Touchdown Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate touchdown location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, entry point into the state in decimal degrees.
  • Liftoff Latitude/Longitude - For single state tornadoes, and the overall record for multi-state tornadoes, the approximate liftoff location in decimal degrees. For the state specific records of multi-state tornadoes, the exit or lift-off point from the state in decimal degrees.

St. #. - The state tornado number assigned to the tornado for that specific state for that specific year. Generally, state tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.
SPC # - The tornado number as assigned by the SPC. Tornado numbers are not unique and reset each year. Generally, tornado numbers were assigned in the order the tornado occurred, but that is not always the case.

Date(s) (yyyy-mm-dd)TornadoesFatalitiesHighest FatalitiesInjuriesHighest InjuriesLongest PathWidest Path
2002-11-10 - 2002-11-102015 people7 people79 people28 people12.3 miles900 yards
User Comments   (1)      
General Comment
2016-01-19 14:10:53
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Rank: F0

There had been tornados for a couple of days and this was the first time we were introduced to the terms "Dixie Alley" and "Second Tornado Season."  They talk "tornado alley" all the time but those of us in Alabama and Tennessee think, "Pfffft!  What about us?  We get just as many."  And it really was true there for a number of years.  In November you'd get another round of tornados as the season was cooling off.  Not so much in the past few years.  They happen all months of the year but there was always a focus around the last week of February.  Then again in April and then again in November.

It was very warm that day and it was windy and raining.  I had just gotten home from work in the evening and wasn't really settled yet.  It was warm in the house so I opened the front door to let some air in.  My phone started ringing and it was mother, "HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEWS!"  No?  Why?  "TURN YOUR TV ON!  WE'VE GOT TORNADOES!"  I said okay and got off the phone and went to go close the front door and turn the TV on.  I had a screened in porch at that time and I was standing in the front door looking at the rain and thinking to myself, "Wow!  The rain is sideways.......................HORIZONTAL RAIN!!  OH CRAP!"  Before I could shut the door there was a growl like a grizzly bear and leaves and sticks and stuff started slamming into the screen on the porch and I dove for the floor.  Well, the entertainment center I had in those days had pull out drawers at the bottom to store video tapes.  I dove and caught my head on one of the those doors and cut my head.  All matter of hell broke loose there for just a couple of minutes and the power went out.

My best friend lived next door to me at the time and after the wind had died down and I realized I was still alive I got up to go light a candle so I could see.  I went into the kitchen and I saw my friend's car's headlights barreling into her driveway.  She didn't even stop the car fully!  She hit the brakes so hard the car was sliding on the rain soaked ground and she jumped out screaming her head off and came flying in my back door!  She was in hysterics and screaming at the top of her lungs and latched on to me.  I finally got her calmed down and asked her what happened, "It hit just as I was topping the via-duct.  I was trying to get home and a huge oak tree fell across the road from the school yard right in front of me and I slammed on the brakes and slid into it and then the wind hit and blew out all my windows!"

I gave her a flashlight and calmed her down.  My phone was ringing off the hook.  I finally answered it and it was Mom again, "ARE YOU ALRIGHT!!?  DID YOU GET HIT!?"  I was talking to her and my friend walked out onto the front porch and she yelled,
"Oh my!  I think you have a tree down!"
I gotta go Mom.  I think there's a tree down in there.
"'s 2 trees."
Great!  Let me go Mom.  She says it's two trees now.
"Uhhhhhhh............I think you need to come here right now!"

I just dropped the phone and left it swinging by the cord.  I had lots of old maple trees in the yard.  It wiped out 3 of mine and my neighbors was also in the mix of it.  My eyes had adjusted now and there were power lines sparking all over the road.  The search party came FAST!  There were officials coming to every house door to door checking to see if everybody was all right and telling us not to leave the house due to the power lines arching on wet roads.  It was a night I won't ever forget. Thankfully nobody was hurt that bad and just trees down at my place.  A couple of houses lost their roof.

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