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Tornadoes of 2016

Timespan

January 2-December 30, 2016

Maximum rated tornado

EF5 tornado
Dallas, TX
on April 23

Highest winds

350 mph (495 kph) (Dallas EF5)

Tornadoes in the United States

1,989

Fatalities (U.S.)

1,567 (Record deadliest)

Tornadoes (worldwide)

~1,600

Damage (U.S.)

$7 quadrillon (Record costliest)


This page documents the tornadoes and tornado outbreaks of 2016. Extremely destructive tornadoes form most frequently in the U.S., Bangladesh andEastern India, but they can occur almost anywhere under the right conditions. Tornadoes also appear regularly in neighboring southern Canada during the Northern Hemisphere's summer season, and somewhat regularly in Europe, Asia, Argentina, and Australia.


Synopsis

The first half of 2016 was average when it comes to tornadoes. There were some moderate to major outbreaks in the first half of 2016, which is rather unusual. But by the start of April, activity got into a major uptick of tornadoes.

The third & forth quarter of 2016 was dominated by the tropics, and many of the tornadoes were related to the many hurricanes and tropical storms of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. Several of the tornadoes were destructive.

February and April were clearly the most active months for tornado activity in the US, with twenty-seven significant - and completely separate - tornado events including the "super April 23-25, 2016 tornado outbreak" with 506 tornadoes, as the wind pattern shifted and the warm tropical Gulf of Mexico added fuel to the fire when cold fronts passed southward, initiating the development of tornado outbreaks.

There were officially 1,989 tornadoes reported in the US in 2016.

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
1989 1423 344 89 39 57 37



January

There were 66 tornadoes reported in the U.S. in February, of which 54 were confirmed.

January 2-3

A damaging outbreak of tornadoes occurred mainly across the Deep South on January 2 and 3, producing 24 tornadoes, killing nine people, and leaving at least eighty-one others injured. It was the deadliest US tornado outbreak in the month of January since 2013. Other EF3 tornadoes and One EF4 tornado occurred across the Deep South that afternoon and evening. 9 weak tornadoes occurred the following day before the outbreak came to an end.

January 12-14

A broad upper-level trough covering the western U.S. on January 12 amplified over the next 24 hours as it progressed eastward. A quasi-stationary surface front extended from a surface low in northern Texas into the middle Mississippi Valley. A vigorous vorticity maximum accompanied the upper-level trough as it swept eastward toward Alabama. Well in advance of the main upper-level trough and strongest dynamics, a weaker short-wave trough moved across northern Mississippi and Alabama between 0000 and 1200 UTC on the 13th. Showers and thunderstorms increased rapidly over central Alabama in response to the advancing short-wave trough. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 5 inches were common across this area overnight, producing flash flooding in several counties.

30 Tornadoes were confirmed in this outbreak the hardest hit city was Cullman, Alabama that will be hit by an EF4.

January 24-25

Another vigorous low pressure system tracked across the Gulf Coast and Florida on January 24. 4 tornadoes were confirmed across the region after a squall line broke into bow echo segments.


February

Exceptional tornado activity took place across the United States in February with 195 touching down, more than four times the average of 43. This set the record for most tornadoes recorded in the month, and more than quadrupled the previous record set in 2008. February 23, 2016 marked the single-most active day in the month on record, with 113 tornadoes forming. The extreme activity during the month was attributed to an unusually spring-like setup, with a warm, moist air mass from the Gulf of Mexico flowing northward into an area with strong upper-level westerlies. The synoptic set up of these factors was typical of March or April rather than mid-winter

February 5

A Significant Tornado Episode developed over the gulf coast on February 5th, as a powerful low pressure system produced a potent squall line ahead of its cold front. The squall line produced a serial derecho as it moved into Florida shortly after 6AM on February 5. Straight-line winds gusted above 140 mph at many locations in Florida as the squall line moved through. The supercells in the derecho produced 32 tornadoes in the Florida. Killing a total of 12 people.

February 13-14

the SPC issued a slight risk outlook for portions of Southeast Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley, citing the predicted passage of a shortwave trough and the potential for increasing atmospheric instability which would in turn increase the likelihood for tornadic activity. At 1735 UTC, the SPC issued a severe thunderstorm watch for areas of southeastern Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi due to the development of scattered thunderstorms tracking eastward across the region. In addition, conditions were favorable for the genesis of supercells. One of these storms spawned an EF1 tornado in Mississippi.

February 22-24

Main article:February 22-24 2016 Tornado Outbreak

One of the largest recorded February tornado outbreaks occurred from February 22-24 2016, resulting in 168 confirmed tornadoes across 16 states and severe destruction on all three days of the outbreak. A total of 54 people were killed from tornadoes and an additional five people were killed as a result of straight-line winds associated with the storm system. The outbreak of severe weather and tornadoes has led to 43 deaths in the Southern United States.This was the largest number of fatalities in an outbreak in the United States in February since the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak.

February 26

In Florida, several tornadoes hit the Jacksonville area, as well as in parts of Georgia and South Carolina. eleven person was injured and seven were killed. In total, 25 tornadoes were reported during the outbreak across the three states including duplicated reports and at least Twenty were confirmed including one EF5 and three EF3's

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