Friday marked an important anniversary in Southern Tennessee's weather history. It was on April 16, 1998 that the most powerful tornado to ever touch down in the Volunteer State made it's path of destruction through Lawrence and Wayne Counties.
At just over 1700 yards wide, the tornado's peak winds were well over 216 mph as it carved out a multi-county path of destruction. 21 people were injured during the storm in Lawrence County alone where the twitter was responsible for well over $1 million dollars in damage.
Using archived radar data, we're able to show you what the storm looked like using modern 3D technology.
Research into the storm's track in the 2010s revealed that the "Forgotten F-5" was actually a twister that raised and lowered to ground contact three separate times along it's multi-county journey. The storm achieved it's most violent winds while progressing through Lawrence County. Damage to nature can still be seen in the area through the Deerfield and Ethridge communities and on satellite maps of the region. It's worth to note that since 1811, Tennessee has experienced 852 confirmed tornadoes of various strengths. This storm is the only one of it's caliber within the database and, since the 2007 revision to the Fujita Scale to Enhanced Fujita Scale, this will technically be Tennessee's only "F-5" forever in the history books.