2021 Super Outbreak
Type: Unknown
Active: May 9, 2021
Duration of tornado outbreak1: 23 Hours, 12 minutes
Maximum rated tornado2: EF5 tornado
Highest winds Unknown
Tornadoes confirmed: 300
Damage: 13.3 Billion (2021 USD)
Injuries: Unknown
Fatalities: 330 (+2 non-tornadic) 3,330+ injuries
Areas affected: Unknown

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

The 2021 Super Outbreak was the most violent tornado outbreak in history along with the costliest outbreak and had the most tornadoes ever recorded in a 24 hour period. 300 tornadoes touched down in just 24 hours, with 102 violent tornadoes (EF4+). These tornadoes caused 13 billion in damages, and killed 330 people

Meteorological synopsis

A deep upper level cyclone developed over Saskatchewan during the afternoon of May 8. The low swung into the Dakotas and Minnesota by midnight, delivering unseasonably warm airmass, which settled across much of the area. The low was tied to a cold front, which lingered behind the system, prompting storm development.

Notable tornadoes

Metropolis- Bay city tornado family


4:33 am. The first tornado is slowly weakening, empowering a second tornado.

The two strongest tornadoes of the outbreak. At 4:25 am, radar showed a supercell crossing the Ohio river along I-24 at 4:31 am, a funnel cloud was clearly observed on the easternmost side of town by a retired storm chaser. The tornado developed at 4:33 am and started doing EF2 damage upon touching down in forested land east of I-24. a turn for the northwest was observed by local residents. The tornado started doing EF3 damage to the Welcome to Illinois tourist attraction. The tornado then shifted back through forested land on the west side of the highway and grinding trees. At 4:40 am, the twister was visible from the east side of metropolis. at this point, a fresh tornado emergency was issued for downtown as the tornado churned north-northwest towards downtown. EF4 damage was observed near the intersection of Cherry street and east 3rd street.


The tornado gaining EF5 strength in downtown Metropolis.

The tornado then reached EF5 intensity near the Metropolis drug store and East 6th street. the tornado maintained it's strength as it neared downtown, destroying 100% of the homes between east 8th and east 12th street. the tornado then turned back for the east near Scott street and crossed mud creek before snapping hundreds of trees before crossing I-24 and destroying the interstate rest area as it churned north east towards route 45. The tornado then moved through farmlands causing severe ground scouring before moving through wooded areas and downing 80% of the trees in the Cretaceous Hills Nature preserve. The tornado then weakened to an EF1 just southwest of bay city.

At 4:58 am, what was originally thought to have been a sub-vortex developed on the east side of the tornado, and started doing EF3 damage. The tornado then weakened and energized the second tornado. The second tornado then took over and did EF5 damage as it looped around bay city along the Ohio River. The tornado then weakened and dissipated at 5:10 AM.


After these tornadoes, a state of emergency was issued for Metropolis all the way to Bay city. Hundreds of people were left homeless. 78 died and 198 were injured by the tornado. total damage was estimated at 5 billion.

Other notable tornadoes

EF2 tornado (NWS)
Duration 5:13 am – 5:22 am
Intensity 215 km/h (130 mph) (1-min)

Golconda and Shetler, Illinois EF2

A weak tornado touched down upon the banks of the Ohio river and drilled it's way through wooded areas to the right of bay city road. The tornado then plowed into the south side of Golconda, damaging 20 homes, and 2 others sustained major damage. 2 people died and 13 were injured. This tornado was remembered from it's ghostly appearance, which haunted several residents.

Tolu and Dixon, Kentucky EF5


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