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On this date in 1932, a deadly and horrific tornado outbreak struck the deep south (1 Viewer)


Honorary Meteorologist
Rest in Peace
Wilsonville, Oregon
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
On this date in 1932, a deadly and horrific tornado outbreak struck the deep south. Hardest hit were the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee......similar to the April 27-28, 2011 tornado swarm nearly 80 years later. A total of 334 perished in the deadly tornadoes, most in northern and central Alabama.

The culprit that caused this deady dixie outbreak was a very intense low pressure area that formed over the Texas Panhandle (988 mb) on the night of March 20th, then tracked east to near Tulsa (987 mb) by 7 am March 21st, then ENE across Arkansas to near Evansville, Indiana (984 mb) by evening and Pittsburgh (986 mb) by 7 am March 22nd.


Unseasonably warm and moist air rushed northward ahead of the intense, rapidly moving cold front, spawning waves of violent tornadic supercells.and at least 39 tornadoes, many of them killers. At least ten of the 39 twisters that afternoon and evening reached F4 intensity, 8 of them in Alabama. The deadliest single tornado of the outbreak took 49 lives from near Marion to Jemison, Alabama. Other deadly tornadoes that day struck Talladega county (41 dead), Morgan and Madison county (38 dead), and Northport (37 deaths).

Tornado Deaths By State On March 21-22, 1932
Alabama -- 268
Georgia -- 44
Tennessee --13
South Carolina --3
Kentucky -- 2
Indiana -- 1

An interesting sidenote to this devastating tornado outbreak. Only a few days before the tornado outbreak, northern Georgia and Alabama shivered in near record cold temperatures (14 at Atlanta; 16 at Birmingham).
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Staff member
Pelham, AL
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
My grandmother used to tell me stories about that tornado, she and her family took shelter and didn't have any damage (they lived between Fayettville and Childersburg). However, she told me about a friend's family that (as most stories went in those days) didn't seek shelter till they heard the tornado, two sisters jump into the baby's bassinet or something and were airborne, one sister fussed because the other took all the covers during the ordeal. Their baby sibling was in the baby bed and the roof fell in but did it in a way that formed a shelter over the baby, the baby was completely unharmed. However, their mother was found in two different trees, that's all I'll say. I'm sure that's one horror story of many that people could tell. You can search and find old newspapers online detailing the stories.

Again, thanks for sharing Perry!!

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