According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during February, there were 11 preliminary tornado reports. This is well below the 1991-2010 average of 29 tornadoes for the month of February. The most notable tornado event of the month occurred on February 15, as several tornadoes developed across southwestern Georgia, the Florida panhandle and southeastern, coastal North Carolina. The most severe of these tornadoes was an EF-3 at 160 mph that impacted Brunswick County, North Carolina near the coast, which caused 3 fatalities and 10 injuries. This powerful EF-3 tornado struck around midnight local time and caused heavy damage to numerous well-constructed homes, vehicles and other infrastructure. Several homes within a subdivision were completely destroyed while one home was swept completely away from its foundation.

A second tornado event for the month occurred on February 28 where 4 tornadoes impacted Louisiana, Georgia and Kentucky. These were weaker EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes that produced damage to homes, vehicles, outbuildings and vegetation. There were no deaths reported with these tornadoes.

Did You Know?

Tornado Count

Final monthly tornado counts are typically less than the preliminary count. This can be due to some phenomena being inaccurately reported as tornadic activity or a single tornado being reported multiple times. Tornado accounts are reported to the local National Weather Service forecast offices who are responsible for going into the field and verifying each tornado reported. This process often takes several months to complete. Once all reports have been investigated, the final count is published by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

The Tornado Monthly Climate Reports are written using the preliminary numbers because the final data is not available at the time of production. Historically, for every 100 preliminary tornado reports, at least 65 tornadoes are confirmed. An error bar is depicted on the tornado count graphic representing this uncertainty in the preliminary tornado count.

The following U.S. studies performed by SPC meteorologists offer deeper context and discussion regarding the frequency and distribution of tornado intensity climatologies:

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Tornadoes Report for February 2021, published online March 2021, retrieved on July 22, 2024 from