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March 21-23, 2022 Tornado Outbreak

Last year in March, a dynamic pattern would take place across much of the Deep South, this would lead to the first of a series of outbreaks that would impact the area. The first outbreak on March 21-23, 2022 would greatly affect the area from Texas to Louisiana to the Ohio Valley.

Initiation

In advance of the event, as early as March 15th, the SPC would note the potential for severe weather for both March 21st and March 22nd, the a couple days later March 23rd as well.

SPC Outlook that was released for Day 7 on March 15, 2022. (Source: NWS/CPC)

By March 20th, it was becoming more apparent that a tornado outbreak would unfold across the Deep South on March 21st with some areas especially in Texas, having the potential to see strong tornadoes.

March 21st , 2022 – Day 1
The first day of the outbreak, March 21st would feature the beginning of a prolific outbreak. Early on the afternoon of the 21st, a moderate risk was issued for much of Texas with a 15% for the areas within the moderate risk to see strong destructive tornadoes.

Storm Prediction Center’s 20Z outlook for Monday, March 21, 2022. (Source: NWS/SPC)

By late afternoon, the storms would began to initiate and being producing strong tornadoes. Some of which would cause significant damage to areas especially in Texas. The highest rated tornado of the day would be an EF-3 that tracked through Jacksboro causing significant damage to the area, nine people were injured and luckily no one was killed from this tornado.

Damage from the EF-3 tornado that touched down in Jacksboro, TX. (Source: Newsweek)

After that tornado, over a dozen more tornadoes would touch down during the evening of the 21st and into the overnight hours. Most of these tornadoes would touch down in Texas with some impacting Oklahoma. Unfortunately, two people would be killed by separate tornadoes that were both EF-2 tornadoes.

The 500-mb chart on the evening of March 21, 2022. (Source: NWS/SPC)

The atmosphere on the evening of March 21st was prime for the formation of tornadoes with a trough digging into the southern U.S. leading to strong upper level winds aloft. Additionally, with a strong LLJ and cold air clashing in from the Mountains region out West, this would inevitably trigger the outbreak in the first place.

March 22nd, 2022 – Day 2

On the morning of March 22nd, the SPC would put Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama under the threat for significant tornadoes.

Storm Prediction Center’s outlook released on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Source: NWS/SPC)

Strong tornadoes would occur during the day on March 22nd with many more tornadoes touched down this time in the targeted areas including two EF-3’s that would cause significant damage. One of these EF-3 tornadoes would touch down in New Orleans causing damage to the area and taking the life of one person. Overall, March 22nd would prove to be an active day for tornadoes in the Deep South as compared to March 21st.

A home that was destroyed in the New Orleans EF-3 on March 22, 2022. (Source: Wikipedia)

March 23rd, 2022 – Day 3
The final round of tornadoes would occur with another round of strong thunderstorms during the day on March 23rd, this time it would be focused towards the Southeast and the eastern Great Lakes region including eastern Indiana too! The area would even have 2% risk for tornadoes with the threat of severe weather being in place for the day.

Storm Prediction Center’s 12Z outlook for Wednesday, March 23, 2022. (Source: NWS/SPC)

Several more tornadoes would touch down in these areas with the highest rated tornado only being a couple EF-2 that touched down. One would touch down in Virginia with the other in South Carolina. Luckily, no one was killed in the tornadoes from March 23rd.

Overall
In total, 85 tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down during the outbreak with 3 deaths being caused by the tornadoes along with nearly $50 million dollars in damages as well.

Sources

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/obswx/maps/

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/

https://www.weather.gov/ewx/wxevent-20220321

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