Tornado outbreak of February 11-13, 2022
2016 Blizzard.png
System at peak intensity on February 12.
Date of tornado outbreak: February 11-13, 2022
Duration1: 51 hours
Maximum rated tornado2: EF3 tornado
Tornadoes caused: 62
Total Damages: $121 million
Total Fatalities: 22

1Time from first tornado to last tornado
2Most severe tornado damage; see wikipedia:Enhanced Fujita Scale

The tornado outbreak of February 11-13, 2022 was an unusually prolific early-season tornado outbreak which affected the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The outbreak began in the late afternoon of February 11 and lasted slightly over 51 hours, producing a total of 62 tornadoes, including four which were rated EF3 on February 12. The outbreak was the most prolific in the month of February since February 28, 2017, on which 70 tornadoes were confirmed, as well as the deadliest outbreak in February since the 2008 Super Tuesday outbreak.

62 31 18 9 4 0 0

Meteorological synopsis

The outbreak was produced by a series of semi-discrete supercells that moved eastward from Arkansas across Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. The first supercells developed in far eastern Arkansas in the late evening hours of February 11 and into the overnight hours of February 12 before dissipating around the Arkansas-Tennessee-Mississippi tri-state area. More closely-clustered supercells developed near the Ark-La-Miss area in the late morning and early afternoon of February 12 and quickly reorganized into an intense squall line. Although the supercells were short-lived, the presence of a prominent upper-level jet stream ahead of the associated cold front, coupled with strong directional shear, created a reasonably favourable environment for the development of a few tornadoes. An intense squall line moved northeastward across Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, producing widespread wind damage and an unexpected number of tornadoes. The most significant severe weather occurred over Mississippi and western Tennessee in the afternoon of February 12, but several more tornadoes and wind damage, along with large hail, were reported in the Carolinas on February 13 before the system moved off over the Atlantic Ocean.

02-11-2022 outlook 1

1630z tornado risk outlook on February 11.

On February 11, the Storm Prediction Center issued a slight risk of severe weather, with a 2% risk of tornadoes for Arkansas, western Tennessee, and small portions of far southern Missouri, southwestern Kentucky, and northwestern Mississippi. Despite the February 11 event producing the most discrete supercells, the majority were non-tornadic and produced mainly hail. Five supercells on February 11 produced a total of 16 tornado reports, 12 of which were confirmed. All tornadoes on February 11 were weak and short-lived, with no significant damage or injuries being reported. The most notable tornado of the day was an EF1-rated wedge tornado which caused minor to moderate damage throughout most of the town of Salem, Arkansas, but no fatalities or injuries.

02-12-2022 outlook 1

1630z tornado risk outlook on February 12.

The squall line on February 12 caused much more significant tornadic activity. The first tornadoes of the day had developed by early afternoon in Mississippi; while the early afternoon tornadoes were weak, stronger tornadoes developed in the late afternoon and evening hours. A long-lived and intense tornado family caused several fatalities and over 100 injuries in northern Mississippi, most notably in the towns of Myrtle and Rienzi. During the overnight hours into the morning of February 13, the system continued across northern Alabama and Tennessee, producing more strong tornadoes. A long-tracked EF3 tornado caused 8 fatalities and 56 injuries in the town of Crossroads and Waynesboro, Tennessee in the late evening of June 12 and early morning of June 13, becoming the deadliest of the outbreak and third-deadliest in the year 2022. A total of 41 tornadoes were reported on February 12, 39 of which were confirmed.

Tornado table

Woodland-Baldwyn, Mississippi/Savannah, Tennessee tornado family

Tornado outbreaks of the 2020s
April 7, 2020 • Tornado outbreak of March 2-3, 2021 • June 9-13, 2021 • Tornado outbreak of October 19, 2021 • February 11-13, 2022April 12, 2022 • Tornado outbreak of May 23, 2022 • August 22 North American derecho • Tornado outbreak of January 31, 2023 • Tornado outbreak sequence of March 13-17, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of April 3-4, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of April 29-30, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of May 8, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of May 26-29, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of July 1, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of November 19-21, 2023 • Tornado outbreak of February 10-13, 2024 • Tornado outbreak of March 9-10, 2024 •Tornado outbreak of April 9, 2024 • Tornado outbreak of April 18-19, 2024 • May 27-June 1, 2024 • Tornado outbreak of June 12, 2024 • Tornado outbreak of December 26, 2024 • Tornado outbreak of February 27-28, 2025 • Tornado outbreak of March 11, 2025 • Tornado outbreak of March 20, 2025 • May 12-19, 2025 • July 2025 North American derecho • Tornado outbreak of August 2-4, 2025 • Tornado outbreak of October 14-15, 2025

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