Remembering the Carolinas Tornado Outbreak of 1984

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Monday, Carolinians are remembering one of the deadliest and most destructive tornado outbreaks in the history of both North and South Carolina.

The Carolinas Outbreak occurred on March 28, 1984, where 22 tornadoes were reported in the Carolinas – 11 in North Carolina and 11 in South Carolina.

The eastern Carolinas were placed under a High Risk of severe weather by the NWS SELS, known today as the Storm Prediction Center.

This was the first time the region was placed under such an extreme risk for severe weather.

The first tornadoes of the day were reported in Upstate South Carolina during the late afternoon hours.

The line of thunderstorms rolled through the Charlotte metro area around 6 p.m., bringing golf ball size hail to the city.

There were four individual tornadoes in Lancaster, Kershaw and Chesterfield Counties alone, one F2 and three F4 tornadoes.

Wind speeds ranged from 113-260 mph.

Six fatalities were reported in these three counties.

Extensive damage was also reported in forested areas of the Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge.

A F1 tornado briefly touched down in Union County, 10 miles north of Monroe.

(Source: National Weather Service - Wilmington)

No injuries and minor damage was reported.

The storms pushed out of northeastern North Carolina after 10 p.m.

In total, there were 57 fatalities in the Carolinas – 42 in North Carolina and 15 in South Carolina and 1,248 individuals were also injured during the outbreak.