Disclaimer: Along with anyone else on this wiki, I do not wish destruction upon the areas mentioned, nor would I be happy if such destruction happened. This is just a hypothetical story, and any relation to real-life events is purely coincidental.
The 2022 Tennessee Tornado Outbreak was the worst tornado outbreak in the state's history, claiming a total of 11,347 lives and causing up to $45 billion in damages. The outbreak occurred on the evening of January 12, 2022.
At 4:04 PM, the first tornado touched down around eight miles northwest of Nashville. This tornado was ranked an EF-0, with wind speeds of around 60 miles per hour, and this tornado was heading east at around 17 miles per hour.
At 4:07 PM, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for large portions of central and eastern Tennessee, along with several Tornado Watches.
By 4:11 PM, four tornadoes were already on the ground. 2 EF-0 tornadoes, 1 EF-1 tornado, and a large EF-3 tornado 51 miles west of Springfield.
The EF-3 tornado had wind speeds of around 150 miles per hour, and the tornado was heading towards Springfield at a speed of around 10 miles per hour. The tornado was quickly picking up speed, and growing in size and strength. At 4:18 PM, a Tornado Warning was issued for Robertson and Montgomery counties.
At 4:21 PM, a Tornado Warning was issued for Loudon, McMinn, and Monroe counties, as a large tornado with an EF-4 rating touched down in Loudon county, along with a smaller EF-3 tornado travelling alongside it. The EF-4 tornado was 0.3 miles wide, and contained wind of around 175 to 185 miles per hour. The smaller tornado was around 0.1 miles wide, containing wind of around 163 miles per hour. At 4:31 PM, ten minutes after touchdown, the EF-3 collided with the EF-4 after being caught in the larger tornado's inflow jet, and the two tornadoes merged into a powerful EF-5, with winds exceeding 230 miles per hour and a width of around 0.7 miles. This tornado was reported to be rapidly gaining strength and is heading towards the city of Sweetwater in Monroe and McMinn counties.
At 4:33 PM, the tornado heading towards Springfield had achieved a high-end EF-4 rating, with winds of around 190 miles per hour, and still gaining strength. This tornado was now moving at speeds of 20 miles per hour, still towards Springfield. At 4:45 PM, the tornado was reported near the city of Indian Mound, causing extensive damage in the area. This damage included mobile homes being destroyed, poorly built structures being demolished, some trees being uprooted or snapped, well-built structures being heavily damaged, and power flashes and outages. Shortly after its passage through Indian Mound, the tornado had achieved an EF-5 rating, with wind speeds of 220 miles per hour and a width of 1 mile.
Back in Sweetwater, the tornado was reported to be less than fifteen minutes away. A Tornado Emergency was issued for the city of Sweetwater an the immediate vicinity. The tornado has grown to over 1 mile wide, with 260 to 270 mile per hour wind speeds.
At around 5:02 PM, the city of Sweetwater has been almost completely swept away. The tornado that impacted the city had left utter destruction, with buildings swept off their foundations, vehicles and mobile homes obliterated, strong trees uprooted or snapped, power lines and streetlights torn out of the ground, some foundations and roads scoured, and even above ground shelters sustaining mild to moderate damage. The tornado, after wiping out Sweetwater, has been confirmed to be headed towards Athens.
At 5:33 PM, a Tornado Emergency was issued for the city of Cookeville, At 5:35 PM, a tornado with winds exceeding 185 miles per hour struck Cookeville, and reports of heavily damaged to destroyed buildings, obliterated mobile homes, uprooted trees, and power flashes were reported.
Back with the tornado heading towards Springfield, at 5:46 PM, a Tornado Emergency was issued for Clarksville and Cumberland Heights. At 5:51 PM, the tornado struck the two cities, with wind speeds exceeding 300 miles per hour and a width of just over 2 miles. Damage reports state that most buildings were destroyed or swept off of their foundations completely and above ground shelters suffered heavy damage or complete destruction. Vehicles and mobile homes were shredded and mangled beyond recognition. Trees, power lines, streetlights, and traffic lights were torn out of the ground. Foundations and roads were scoured.
At 5:53 PM, reports of airborne foundations and chunks of roads came in just east of Clarksville.
At 6:07 PM, a Tornado Emergency was issued for Athens, as a large and extremely dangerous tornado was bearing down on the city.
At 6:09 PM, the city of Athens has been completely swept away. The tornado that struck the city was a staggering 2.5 miles wide and contained record-breaking wind speeds of 311 miles per hour. Buildings were swept away, vehicles and mobile homes obliterated, trees, power lines, streetlights, and traffic lights ripped out of the ground and thrown for miles, above ground shelters completely destroyed, and shallow underground shelters sustaining mild damage from the tornado.
At 6:39 PM, a Severe Thunderstorm Emergency was issued for the city of Lebanon and eastern Nashville, with reports of 95 mile per hour wind gusts and destructive baseball sized hailstones. This alert was followed by a Flash Flood Warning for parts of western Lebanon and eastern Nashville, as heavy rain caused flooding with an excess of 5 inches reported.
At 7:06 PM, the city of Springfield has been completely swept away. The massive tornado shredded its way through the city with jaw-dropping velocities reaching 320 to 325 miles per hour. The tornado was also a record-breaking 2.8 miles wide, beating the El Reno tornado by one-fifth of a mile. Springfield did not stand a chance against this tornado. Above-ground structures were swept away like paper, vehicles and mobile homes were annihilated, above ground shelters were shredded, and underground shelters suffered moderate damage. Afterwards, the tornado changed directions and began heading northeast.
At 7:48 PM, a Tornado Emergency was declared for Oak Ridge, Knoxville, and Sevierville as large EF-4 tornado touched down in the city limits of Oak Ridge, and barreled through the three cities in a mere twenty minutes, dissipating at 8:08 PM just outside of Sevierville, leaving behind a path of destruction.
At 8:26 PM, a Tornado Emergency was declared for all of Robertson county, as the city of Portland was being swept away. The Springfield tornado changed directions again in Portland, and headed eastward for seven miles, before turning southeast.
At 8:31 PM, meteorologists at the National Weather Service were absolutely horrified and shocked when they found out the size of the two gargantuan tornadoes currently on the ground in Tennessee. The Springfield tornado was a staggering 3.5 miles wide, with wind speeds of a jaw-dropping 355 miles per hour. The Athens tornado, currently bearing down on the town of Georgetown, was 3.1 miles wide, and contained velocities of 330 to 340 miles per hour.
At 8:35 PM, the town of Charleston has been swept clean away by the Athens tornado, leaving almost nothing behind. A Tornado Emergency was declared for the entirety of Bradley county, as the tornado made a direct beeline for the county seat of Cleveland.
At 8:47 PM, storm chasers in Cleveland reported basketball sized hailstones, as well as airborne chunks of concrete, steel, asphalt, and various other large objects, as the Athens tornado decimated the city within minutes.
At 9:47 PM, the Springfield tornado was reported to have weakened below 50 miles per hour in wind speeds, and dissipated just one minute later.
The Athens tornado survived a little longer, but dissipated at around 10:01 PM, shortly before crossing the Georgia state border.
The National Weather Service declared an official end to the 2022 Tennessee Tornado Outbreak at 12:11 AM the next morning, as the last tornadoes dissipated and storms passed.
The cities of Springfield, Athens, Sweetwater, Georgetown, Portland, Charleston, and Cleveland were completely swept away, leaving almost nothing behind.
"It was like this city was the epicenter of a nuclear blast. All I see are dirt plots." Said an officer from the Tennessee State Police, while they searched what little rubble was left in where Portland used to stand for survivors.
"All we found was a brick wall" Said another officer from the state police, referring to a ruined brick wall that was among the only remnants of the city of Charleston found after the tornado passed through.
Above ground structures were swept clean away, vehicles and mobile homes were obliterated and pulverized, trees, power lines, streetlights, street signs, and traffic lights were torn from the ground and thrown for miles, foundations and roads were torn up, plumbing and cables were dug out of the ground, above ground shelters were obliterated and swept away, extensive ground scouring was reported, and, most disturbingly, underground shelters were destroyed, having suffered collapse or having their ceilings torn off and catapulted into the air.
The cities of Springfield, Athens, Sweetwater, Georgetown, Portland, Charleston, and Cleveland were considered to be total losses, as there essentially was not enough left to rebuild. Using government funding, the rest of the affected areas of Tennessee were rebuilt within nine months.
In conclusion, 81 Tornado Watches, 63 Tornado Warnings, 12 Tornado Emergencies, 16 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, 1 Severe Thunderstorm Emergency, and 7 Flash Flood Warnings were issued during the entirety of the outbreak. The largest hailstone was reported near Portland, at two feet wide, beach ball sized. The fastest winds and the largest tornado width was both broken by the Springfield tornado. At its height, it was 3.5 miles wide, and had 355 mile per hour wind speeds. A total of 103 reported tornadoes touched down during the outbreak, and only five of which were EF-5 tornadoes. The Springfield and Athens tornadoes were officially rated by the National Weather Service as high-end EF-5's, although people have criticized the NWS for this choice and said that an EF-6 category should be officially added to the Enhanced Fujita scale, for tornadoes like the Springfield and Athens tornadoes.