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Top 10 Weather Anniversaries of 2013

Jon Erdman
Published: July 8, 2013

#10 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak:  5-Year Anniversary

Atkins, AR.

Atkins, AR.

Getty Images

Michelle Boatright inspects the damage to a pickup truck the morning after a tornado ripped through the town February 6, 2008 in Atkins, Arkansas. (Photo by Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, Ar.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Atkins, AR.
  • Lafayette, TN.
  • Lafayette, TN.
  • Lafayette, TN.
  • Lafayette, TN.
  • Lafayette, TN.
  • Lafayette, TN.
  • Jackson, TN.
  • Jackons, TN.
  • Jackons, TN.
  • Jackson, TN.
  • Jackson, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.

The largest February tornado outbreak in U.S. history struck on "Super Tuesday," so called because 24 states were holding caucuses and primary elections in the process of nominating presidential candidates for the 2008 general election.

Super Tuesday Outbreak

Damage following the Super Tuesday outbreak of 2008. Image credit: National Weather Service, Louisville, Ky.

Eighty-six tornadoes touched down in 10 states on Feb. 5-6, claiming 57 lives. It was the deadliest tornado outbreak since May 31, 1985, a fact since overshadowed by the horrific death tolls suffered in 2011.

Five of the tornadoes in this outbreak were "violent", rated EF4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. One of those tracked 122 miles across north-central Arkansas, establishing a new record for that state's longest continuous tornado path.

Memphis, Tenn., was also struck by a tornado that was captured live on local television tower cameras. Jackson, Tenn., was struck by its third F4/EF4 tornado in 10 years; Union University suffered heavy damage.

The National Weather Service issued five "tornado emergencies" in the course of the outbreak.

Another tornado anniversary occupies our #9 spot.


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