Tornadoes - February 2017


NCEI added Alaska climate divisions to its nClimDiv dataset on Friday, March 6, 2015, coincident with the release of the February 2015 monthly monitoring report. For more information on this data, please visit the Alaska Climate Divisions FAQ.

This analysis is based on preliminary data available from the Storm Prediction Center. Final tornado counts published by the Storm Prediction Center and NCEI's Storm Events Database might differ from this report. For a more detailed climatology, please visit our tornado climatology page.

According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during February, there were 111 preliminary tornado reports. This is nearly four times higher than the 1991-2010 average of 29 for the month. Most of the tornadoes during the month occurred across the Southern Plains, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast. Tornado activity during February is highly variable with some Februaries very active and others having few observed tornadoes. The most active February was in 2008 when there were over 140 confirmed tornadoes reported. When the final tornado count is determined, the February 2017 value will likely be among the five highest for the month since reliable records began in 1950. In late February, an usual storm system brought tornadoes to the Northeast with an EF-2 impacting northeastern Pennsylvania and an EF-1 in western Massachusetts. This was the first tornado observed in Massachusetts during February since reliable records began in 1950.

A significant tornado outbreak impacted the Midwest in late February and early March. A description of this severe weather outbreak will be available in the March 2017 report.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tornadoes for February 2017, published online March 2017, retrieved on March 25, 2017 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tornadoes/201702.