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2017 Southwest US Tornado Outbreak
Saltlaketornado.jpg
EF2 Tornado in downtown Century City that caused 3 injuries, no deaths, and $1,000,000 in damages
Date of tornado outbreak: February 27, 2017
Duration1: 1 day, 3 hours, 37 minutes
Maximum rated tornado2: EF4 tornado
Tornadoes caused: 138
Damages: $15.92 billion (2016 USD)
Fatalities: 571
Areas affected: California, Nevada, and Arizona

1Time from first tornado to last tornado
2Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The 2017 Southwest United States Tornado Outbreak occurred when a extremely rare supercell originated from a powerful low pressure el nino storm that moved across the southwest US. The storm generated 138 tornadoes, the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded on the west coast, and third largest anywhere. The tornadoes also killed 571 people and caused $15.92 billion in damages (2016 USD). The Anaheim EF4 was the 4th deadliest tornado on record in the United States, and the costliest in recorded history.
Deadly

Deadly tornadoes in the outbreak, totaling 571


Storm History

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
138 64 44 19 9 2 0
On February 23, a large storm moved from Japan to the Pacific Ocean. Due to an exceedingly powerful el nino, the storm rapidly intensified. However, it was very slow moving. By February 25, it was causing 20 foot swells in Hawaii and 15 foot swells in California. On February 27, it impacted the southwest United States. Heavy rain, baseball sized hail, and strong winds pounded California, Nevada, and Arizona. At 11:36 AM, the first report of a tornado came in from Huntington Beach, California.

Tornadoes

California

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
73 33 25 8 5 2 0
Twins

EF3 twin Bakersfield tornadoes

Multiple violent tornadoes occurred across the 3 states. On February 27, twin tornadoes touched down in a open field in Bakersfield. They were the first and only twin tornadoes recorded in the state of California rated EF2+. In Anaheim, a powerful very-high end EF4 tornado ripped through the center of Disneyland, killing 237, and injuring 4,028. A Mickey Mouse head from one of the attractions flew out of the park and caused a nearby apartment building to collapse when it crashed into the first floor. The EF4 Anaheim caused $4 billion in damages, the costliest tornado in history, almost double that of the second costliest.

Nevada

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
53 23 16 11 3 0 0
ElReno1

EF3 heading towards Elko

2 hours after the last tornado in California was reported, the first tornado in Nevada was reported. Absorbing the heat over the Mojave Desert, the thunderstorm intensified further. Las Vegas, Carson City, and many other cities were damaged by the tornadoes. In Las Vegas, an EF3 caused damage to hundreds of hotels, casinos, and other buildings, killing 52 unsuspectingly. In Elko, an EF3 decimated the west side of town, killing 24.

Arizona

Confirmed
Total
Confirmed
EF0
Confirmed
EF1
Confirmed
EF2
Confirmed
EF3
Confirmed
EF4
Confirmed
EF5
12 8 3 0 1 0 0
Early February 28, the first tornado touched down in Arizona. However, the thunderstorm was weakening, and only caused a handful of weak tornadoes and one violent tornado. The one EF2+ tornado confirmed in Arizona on February 28 was an EF4 that touched down near Flagstaff, and traveled all the wayto 2 miles south of Phoenix. The storm killed 72 people in it's path of destruction.

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