According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during February, there were 52 preliminary tornado reports. This is below the 1991-2020 average of 75 tornadoes for the month of February. February had only a pair of notable weather systems that produced impactful tornadoes to portions of the United States.

On February 8-9, there were nine isolated tornadoes that developed across portions of southern Wisconsin, central Illinois, southern Indiana, central Arkansas and western Kansas. A strong low-pressure system on February 8 channeled warm, unstable air into southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and eastern Iowa that produced severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. As a result, Wisconsin was impacted by an EF-2 tornado near Evansville, Wisconsin damaging homes, vehicles, businesses and other infrastructure. This was the first February tornado on record in Wisconsin. There were no injuries or fatalities reported with these tornadoes.

The largest tornado event of the month was on February 27-28, as a potent weather system produced tornadoes, including 22 confirmed tornadoes, across northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, southern Michigan, and central Ohio. These tornadoes included seven EF-0, 11 EF-1 and four EF-2 tornadoes. The tornadoes were most concentrated across northern Illinois and the Chicago metro area. O'Hare and Midway International airports issued ground stops as the severe weather moved through the area. Damage ranged from uprooted trees, downed powerlines, damaged gas lines and impacts to homes, vehicles and business parks. There was at least one injury but no fatalities 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 2024, published online March 2024, retrieved on June 14, 2024 from