Tornadoes - February 2009
Significant SPC Storm Reports
On February 10th, a tornado of EF4 intensity struck the area around Lone Grove and Ardmor in Oklahoma. The tornado caused 9 fatalities and 25 injuries and ranks as the deadliest February tornado in Oklahoma history (records began in 1880). This was also the first February EF4 tornado in Oklahoma. The storms took many by surprise due to the rareness of February tornadoes, even in Oklahoma where only 44 have touched down in the state during the month of February since 1950. This severe weather event followed a record breaking low pressure system which measured 28.96 inches on the ninth. The Sioux Falls, South Dakota measurement broke a February minimum pressure record that was last set on February 23rd, 1977.
Based on preliminary estimates, 21 tornadoes touched down in Georgia and Alabama during the 18th of February. The severe thunderstorms swept through the southeast killing one and injuring 22 others. It has been estimated that $25 million of damage was done throughout the state of Georgia. The strong and persistent updrafts within the supercell thunderstorms also produced softball-size hail (4.25 inch diameter). The storms were the worst in the state since last May, when 19 tornadoes were spawned on Monthers Day.
Along the leading edge of a strong upper level low, a preliminary total of four tornadoes were reported in Alabama and Georgia. These tornadoes, on the 27th and 28th of the month, caused a few vehicles to overturn at the intersection of highways 280 and 147. Several homes were also damaged and one was destroyed. These tornadoes were spawned by the same late winter storm that would cause snow to fall from Alabama and Georgia, through the southern Appalachians, and into the major cities along the Atlantic Coast.