Ellenboro, North Carolina
Chilton County, Alabama
West Liberty, Kentucky
A severe weather system that started in Central Nebraska and Central Kansas brought straight-line winds, golfball-size hail, torrential rain, and significant tornadoes to Kansas’ mid-section. There was a small confirmed tornado touchdown near North Platte – the first tornado officially recorded in that state in the month of February since record keeping began in 1950. Late on February 28, a strong EF2 tornado struck the small town of Harveyville, Kansas near Topeka, injuring 9 people including 2 critically, with one person later dying of his injuries. The town’s only church was completely destroyed, several homes received moderate to severe damage, and every building in the small community received a form of damage. Other tornado touchdowns were reported near Hutchinson, Kansas earlier in the day. As the storms moved into Missouri and Arkansas overnight, the threat grew stronger and at 3:00 am CST on February 29, Branson, Missouri was reporting severe damage to the town from an EF2 tornado with homes destroyed and several houses sustaining severe damage as the storms rocketed through the Missouri/Arkansas border corridor at more than 60 mph (95 km/h). Numerous people were injured there. Two other deaths occurred in southwestern Missouri, due to strong tornadoes, one of which was an EF3.
The storms continued to grow stronger as they progressed eastward and they impacted Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio on February 29. A moderate risk of severe weather was issued, with strong tornadoes mentioned as possible. One was quickly reported south of Evansville, Indiana. An EF4 tornado slammed into Harrisburg, Illinois early that morning. The southern part of the city was heavily damaged with houses and businesses destroyed, many of which were completely leveled. At least six people were killed by that tornado.Other severe damage, due to two tornadoes, were reported in Middle Tennessee east of Nashville that afternoon, where three people were killed.
Tellico Plains, Tennessee
New Peakin to Chelsea, Indiana
Peach Grove, Kentucky/ Moscow, Ohio
Salyersville, Kentucky to Gray Eagle, West Virginia
East Bernstadt, Kentucky
Harrisburg to North Charlotte, North Carolina
An unprecedented tornado outbreak struck the region less than 72 hours prior to this storm, killing 13 people, including 6 inHarrisburg, Illinois alone, the result of an F4 Tornado. A moderate risk of severe weather was issued for March 2 a day in advance for a large area from near Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Dayton, Ohio as an intense storm system tracked across the region in a very high shear environment.Intense tornadoes were possible.On the morning of March 2, it was upgraded and ahigh risk of severe weather was issued for Middle Tennessee and CentralKentucky, later extended into Central and Southern Indiana, and Southern Ohio.The Storm Prediction Center mentioned the potential for significant tornadoes. Multiple P.D.S. tornado watches were issued shortly thereafter.
The outbreak began fairly early in the morning, with an initial round of storms and tornadoes associated with the incoming warm front attached to a rapidly deepening low pressure area over the Central Great Lakes.The initial round of storms allowed for a strong warm air mass to enter the region, with temperatures rising to near record levels for early March and instability combining with extreme wind shear, resulting in a highly volatile air mass.As a result, a second, much larger broken line of discrete supercells developed and followed the Ohio River, with additional storms developing farther south. During the afternoon, those cells tracked eastward across the Ohio Valley, passing near Louisville, Kentucky and south of Cincinnati, Ohio with devastating results.
As isolated activity developed farther south, intense super cells also formed in Central Kentucky in the late afternoon hours and tracked east into theEastern Mountain Coal Fields region before weakening as they reached West Virginia later that evening. That area had the highest wind shear that allowed the storms to spin violently, resulting in severe damage in several communities.