Tornado outbreak of December 10–11, 2021

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A rare, late-season tornado outbreak affected portions of the Southern and Midwestern United States from the evening of December 10 to the early morning of December 11, 2021. The event came to fruition as a trough progressed eastward across the United States, interacting with an unseasonably moist and unstable environment across the Mississippi Valley. Tornado activity began in northeastern Arkansas, before progressing into Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The most prolific activity was caused by a long-track supercell thunderstorm that produced a family of strong tornadoes, if not a single long-track tornado, across four states.

As of December 11, 2021, five people have been confirmed to have been killed by the tornadoes in Arkansas and Tennessee, while hundreds are trapped under collapsed buildings. Unconfirmed estimates suggest that the tornado outbreak may have caused between 75 and 100 deaths across the four states, with 50 to 70 residents feared dead in the town of Mayfield, Kentucky. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest tornado event in Kentucky state history. It is also believed to have tracked 250 miles[1] which, if true, would exceed that of the Tri-State tornado outbreak of March 18, 1925.


  • This is a particularly dangerous situation. Take cover now!
  • You are in a life-threatening situation. Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible.

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