Winter tornado outbreak possible in East TN

8:30 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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A midwinter tornado outbreak could be possible in Tennessee.

"It has been mild and the Gulf of Mexico waters are so warm right now if we do get a significant system that brings up enough moisture there is a threat of a tornado outbreak in the middle of winter in this type of setting," said George Mathews, Meteorologist-In-Charge at the National Weather Service office in Morristown.

A warm gulf means an earlier start to tornado season.  Right now, the ocean waters are warm.

Tennessee saw a similar system create an early tornado season last year.  At least 20 tornadoes hit the state in March.

Mathews said it is too early to tell how active the season will be.

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