Tornadoes - February 2014
According to data from the Storm Prediction Center, during February, there were 41 preliminary tornado reports. This is above the 1991-2010 average of 29 for the month. February is climatologically the slowest tornado month, but tornado activity during the month can vary greatly from year to year. The most tornadoes during February was 147 in 2008, while only one tornado occurred in February 2010. A majority of the tornado reports, 40, occurred over a two day period on February 20th and 21st.
On February 20th and 21st, a strong storm system moved from the Central Plains into the Midwest. Ahead of the storm system and associated cold front, warm, moist, and unstable conditions filtered into the Ohio Valley, the Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic. As the storm moved through the unstable air mass, 40 tornadoes were reported over the two day period, in addition to hundreds of severe wind and hail reports. Tornadoes were reported from Illinois, to southern Mississippi, and to eastern Virginia. Most of the tornadoes were weak in nature and rated EF-0 or EF-1, while a few were rated EF-2. Minor damage occurred across central Illinois, southeastern Tennessee, and northern Alabama. No fatalities and only minor injuries were reported during the outbreak.