Past tornadoes on Christmas

Published On: Dec 26 2012 09:11:40 AM EST
Updated On: Dec 26 2012 09:15:12 AM EST
tornado generic

With the heavy storms hitting the United States on Christmas Day, the National Weather Service in Washington, DC, looks back at other tornadoes that hit on the holidays.

Notable U.S. tornado events with at least one F2 (minimum 113-mph) tornado between Dec. 24 and Dec. 26:

  • Dec. 24-25, 1964: 14 tornadoes (three of them F3), Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia. Two deaths in Georgia; about 30 people injured.
  • Dec. 25, 1969: 12 tornadoes (two F3) in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana One death in Louisiana, 17 injuries.
  • Dec. 25-26, 1973: 7 tornadoes, two of them F2, in Alabama, Florida, Georgia. Two injuries.
  • Dec. 24, 1975: 3 tornadoes (one F3) in Texas and Florida. No injuries or deaths.
  • Dec. 24-25, 1977: 3 tornadoes (1 F3) in Mississippi and Florida. Seven injuries.
  • Dec. 24-26, 1982: 29 tornadoes (one F4, two F3), in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi. Three deaths in Arkansas and Missouri; 32 injuries.
  • Dec. 24, 1988; 1 tornado (F4) in Tennessee. One death; seven injuries.
  • Dec. 24, 1997: 3 tornadoes (one F2) in Alabama. Five injured.
  • Dec. 25, 2006: 6 tornadoes (four F2) in Georgia and Florida. 14 injured.
  • Dec. 24, 2009: 22 tornadoes (three F2) in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Four injured.

Other statistics:

  • Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida are the most likely states to have tornado events around this time of year.
  • The last time a number of tornadoes impacted the Gulf Coast area around Christmas Day was in 2009, when 22 tornadoes occurred during the morning of December 24th.
  • In over 60 years there have been two EF4-rated tornadoes on Christmas Eve, one in 1982 in Arkansas, the other in 1988 in Tennessee.
  • The last killer tornado around Christmas was a Christmas Eve F4 in Tennessee in 1988, killing one person and injuring 7.

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