Mecklenburg County Tornado History

Yesterday Mecklenburg County had the 1st tornado warnings issued in the county since September 2011. It also ended up with the 1st confirmed tornado since March of 2012 when a un warned tornado touched down in the Reedy Creek Neighborhood.

EF-0 Tornado from May 15th, 2014:



Here’s a reminder of the EF scale is and what it means. It’s based on the damage a tornado does after the damage is surveyed and radar data analyzed.


Mecklenburg County Tornado History:

After yesterdays storm I got some good questions about tornadoes in Mecklenburg County. Which yes we do get them and they aren’t as rare as you might think. Now I should preface the following data by saying tornado data is not always that great the farther back in time you go. Mainly due to the fact that modern Doppler radar was fully implemented across the country until after 1988.  Then combined with population bias and observational bias it hard to tell how many tornadoes occurred in the past compared to now. Today rarely if ever does a tornado go undetected due to advanced weather technology and social media. Many times in the past tornadoes would occur on the rural farms and only the farmer and family ever knew it happened. This is why most tornado data only goes back to about 1950.

So how many tornadoes on record in Mecklenburg County?

The answer is 24 since 1956 counting yesterdays. That’s about 0.4 tornadoes a year or roughly one tornado every 2 years in Mecklenburg county.



If there is a mini “tornado alley” it’s in Southwest Mecklenburg county pretty much right where yesterday’s tornado occurred.


How does this compare to the State of North Carolina?


How about South Carolina?

Remember South Carolina is smaller so you would expect fewer tornadoes. It has a smaller surface area for tornadoes to occurred compared to North Carolina.


Nationally by County: