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1994 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak facts for kids

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March 27, 1994 "Palm Sunday" Severe Weather Outbreak map
Outlook as of 2:30 p.m. EST on March 27, 1994.

The 1994 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak happened on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1994. This was the third tornado outbreak in the United States to happen on a Palm Sunday. 40 people were killed in this outbreak, and 491 were injured.


The Storm Prediction Center issued a warning on March 26 saying the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic.

On the morning of March 27, a moderate risk was given for Alabama. By 9:00 a.m., thunderstorms began to develop. At 9:18 a.m., a tornado watch was issued for eastern Mississippi and northern Alabama. Tornado warnings were issued at 11:00 a.m. CST. At 11:39 a.m., a tornado struck the Goshen United Methodist Church in Piedmont, Alabama, killing 22 people, including the groom's 4-year-old daughter.

At noon EST, a PDS tornado watch was announced for northern Georgia. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes entered Georgia by 12:42 p.m. EST and continued throughout the afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center announced a tornado watch for eastern Louisiana and central Mississippi. However, no tornadoes touched down on March 27. A tornado watch was also announced in the Carolinas. Tornadoes hit this area through the afternoon, including an F3 in Georgia and South Carolina, injuring 12. Another tornado injured 13 in North and South Carolina.

Tornadoes continued to hit Alabama between 4:00 and 5:30 p.m. CST, damaging a high school. A funnel cloud was seen at 6:00 p.m. CST. The storm had winds up to 60 mph.

The final tornado struck Greenville County, South Carolina at midnight on March 28. The NWS offices in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Athens did not stop issuing warnings until early in the morning on March 28.

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