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Tornado outbreak sequence of February 19 - 22, 2018
Date of tornado outbreak: February 19 - 22, 2018
Duration1: 4 days
Maximum rated tornado2: EF4 tornado
Highest winds 190 mph
Tornadoes caused: 58
Total Damages: $400 million
Total Fatalities: 9

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

The February 19 - 22, 2018 tornado outbreak sequence was a prolonged period of severe weather throughout the central and northern parts of the US, and southern state of Ontario in Canada. During the outbreak, there were 2 tornado emergencies declared in the US states of Missouri and Illinois, both for wedge tornadoes impacting those areas with the potential for catastrophic damages and loss of life. 9 people lost their lives during the outbreak - 2 in Chicago, Illinois during an EF3, 4 during a violent EF4 wedge tornado in Carrollton and Carroll, Missouri,and 3 in an EF2 tornado in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In total, $400 million was inflicted in damages by the outbreak.


Synopsis

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
50/8 21/5 17/2 9/1 2 1 0


An extratropical cyclone formed over the midwestern states on February 17, before hitting a capping inversion over the central US the following day, allowing for the development of a severe weather setup. Following the collision of the storm system with a another frontal zone, widespread severe thunderstorms began forming on the morning of February 19, and the NWS SPC issued an Enhanced Risk of severe weather for the central US, calling for a widespread tornado outbreak.

The following day, there was another Enhanced Risk issued, with strong to violent tornadoes expected. In addition to this, a large wedge tornado, later rated an EF4, struck Carrollton and Carroll in Missouri,causing widespread devastating damage in the process, and the issuance of the 2nd tornado emergency of the year. 4 people died in this tornado, which caused $265 million in damages. An EF3 was also reported in Kansas, but thankfully had less substantial impacts.

The outlook for February 21 called for a Moderate Risk for the northwestern states bordering the Canadian border, an several several more tornadoes touched down, including another EF3 stuck, this time in Chicago, Illinois, causing substantial damage in the process. A tornado emergency was also declared for this area, which saw 2 deaths and 12 injuries from the twister, as well as $85 million in damages. In addition to the tornadoes in the US, there were 4 tornadoes in Canada that day related to the outbreak.

On the last day of the sequence, there were a few tornadoes near the border, but most of the activity was focused in the southern Canadian states, where 5 tornadoes touched down, including an EF2 in Ottawa, Ontario, which caused 3 deaths and $100 million in damages. In total, 9 people lost their lives in the outbreak, 6 of which occurred in the US, and $400 million was done in damages during the outbreak.

Notable tornadoes

Hill City - Penokee, Kansas

EF3 tornado (NWS)
May20EF3tornado.jpg
Duration 1245 – 1320
Intensity 250 km/h (155 mph) (1-min)

This small but damaging tornado touched down in Hill City in the early afternoon of February 20, travelling to Penokee before lifting again. No deaths were reported from the tornado, but it did cause $22 million in damages, and severely damaged a farm whilst on the ground.


Carrollton - Carroll, Missouri

Main article: 2018 Carrollton - Carroll tornado
EF4 tornado (NWS)
2011 Hackleburg–Phil Campbell, Alabama tornado.png
Duration 1555 – 1623
Intensity 305 km/h (190 mph) (1-min)

This violent, long tracked EF4 wedge tornado was on the the ground for 28 minutes, and levelled pretty much everything in its path, and swept away poorly built buildings in Carrollton and Carroll, where a tornado emergency was issued as the 1.2 mile wide tornado approached the town. 4 people died in the tornado, with $265 million also being done in damages, leading to the declaration of a state of emergency for the areas hit.


Chicago, Illinois

Main article: 2018 Chicago tornado
EF3 tornado (NWS)
Xenia060.jpg
Duration 1125 – 1140
Intensity 220 km/h (140 mph) (1-min)

This tornado touched down outside of Chicago, already showing potential for devastation as it approached the city. As a result of this, a tornado emergency was issued on the twister as it neared, urging residents indoors, and out of any mobile homes, and off roads in the path of the storm. The tornado would go on to claim 2 lives, and to cause $85 million in damages before finally lifting after 15 minutes on the ground.


Ottawa, Ontario

EF2 tornado
New Tornado.jpg
Duration 1712 – 1720
Intensity 205 km/h (125 mph) (1-min)

This tornado was the only significant tornado in Canada during the outbreak sequence, and occurred in the late afternoon of February 22, killing 3 people caught out in the storm, and causing $100 million in damages before lifting 8 minutes after it touched down.

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