Tornadoes - February 2013
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According to data from the Storm Prediction Center, during February, there were 46 preliminary tornado reports. This is above the 1991-2010 average of 29 for the month. February is typically the slowest tornado month of the year. Most of the tornado reports occurred during two severe weather outbreaks on the 10th and 18th of the month. There was one tornado-related fatality during February, on the 21st, when an EF-1 tornado hit near Pineland, Texas causing a tree to fall on a home.
A cold front moving through the southeastern U.S. on February 10th was associated with a high amount of wind shear and instability, resulting in a severe weather outbreak. There were preliminary reports of 14 tornadoes from Texas to Alabama. Two tornadoes that moved through southern Mississippi were particularly destructive. An EF-2 tornado, with sustained winds of 120 mph, a path length of 19 miles, and a width of 400 yards led to 3 injuries in Marion and Lamar counties. Numerous homes were damaged or destroyed. An EF-4 tornado impacted Lamar and Forrest counties and moved through parts of Hattiesburg. The tornado had estimated winds of 170 mph, a path length of 21 miles, and a width of three-quarters of a mile. The tornado caused at least 82 injuries but no fatalities. Numerous homes and businesses suffered extensive damage. In addition to the severe weather, the storms caused heavy rainfall and flooding with five to seven inches of rain falling throughout the region.
As a powerful snow storm was impacting the central U.S. on February 18th, severe weather was impacting parts of the South. Seventeen confirmed tornadoes, mostly weak in nature (EF-0 and EF-1), hit between Dallas, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana. The largest impact from the storms was large hail, with numerous reports of golf ball sized hail. Only minor damage was reported from the severe weather outbreak.