Hickman County EF-2 Tornado Wednesday December 23, 2015

Hickman County has had no recorded tornadoes in the month of December since records date back to 1865. An EF-2 tornado started in Perry County and traveled in to Hickman County, lifting 5 miles after crossing into Hickman County.


  1. Below is the tornado on radar from Sam Shamburger, Lead Forecaster at NWSNashville. The rest of this story talks about the before, during, and after of this event.

  2. Severe weather started to be forecasted for Hickman County starting on Sunday, December 20th, when the SPC placed all of Tennessee under a THUNDERSTORM outlook for Wednesday, December 23rd. This is a 0.5 on a scale from 0-5 in terms out severe weather outlooks.
  3. Looking at different models, it appeared that there could be some form rough weather, but being four days out it remained fairly uncertain.
  4. On Monday , we woke up to the Storm Prediction Center putting Hickman County into the SLIGHT category of severe weather for Wednesday, adding a little more confidence into the possibility of severe weather on Wednesday.
  5. CAPE, or convective available potential energy, is a measure of different weather-making ingredients that fuel severe weather. The tweet below is the GFS model that predicts CAPE values in the 1500-2000 J/kg range for 6pm Wednesday, which is a lot for December.
  6. Our local National Weather Service office in Nashville even recommended that people start paying close attention to the weather over the week leading up to Christmas, mainly because of last minute holiday shopping and traveling, but also because the models were painting a rough weather pattern for us on Wednesday.
  7. Dating back, there has been no reported tornadoes in Hickman County in December since 1865 when records started being kept. We were concerned that could change.
  8. The Storm Prediction Center wrote they were most concerned with damaging wind gust and isolated tornadoes were possible come Wednesday.