National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


The year 2021 featured several notable weather events from the extreme cold of February to the record warmth in December. We went from a major snowstorm on February 15th to major flash flooding on the 28th. Severe thunderstorms on July 10th produced an EF-2 tornado in Dexter, MO, which was the strongest July tornado in our forecast area since 1971. The year concluded with a historic tornado outbreak on December 10th. A deadly EF-4 tornado carved a 165 mile path of destruction across western Kentucky. A preliminary estimate of 56 fatalities occurred in our forecast area, making this the deadliest tornado in our area since the 1925 Tri-state Tornado. 

2021 Year in Review: Highlighted by Historic December Tornado Outbreak

December 10-11 Tornadoes - EF4 tornado carves 165 mile path across western Kentucky

Image: Timeline of the tornado track (left) and radar reflectivity as the tornado went over Mayfield, KY (right)


Review of other events in 2021 (in chronological order). CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

1. February 10 - Ice Storm

Image: Ice accumulations from this event.

2. February 14-15 - Major snowstorm

Image: Snowfall accumulations from this event.

3. February 7-20 Polar plunge

Image: Table displaying Paducah's longest stretches with temperatures below 30 degrees.

4. February 28 Major flash flooding in western Kentucky

Image: Rainfall totals for 48 period ending at 7 AM March 1st.

 5. April 20 Latest measurable snow on record in Paducah and Evansville

Image: Observed snowfall totals

6. May 4 Severe thunderstorms including 6 tornadoes


Image: EF-2 tornado track west of Fulton, KY

7. July 10 EF-2 tornado strikes Dexter, MO          


Image: Dexter, MO tornado track map

8. October 24 Severe thunderstorms including tornadoes in southeast Missouri

Image: Fredericktown, MO EF-3 tornado that extended into western Perry County, MO

9December 5-6 Severe thunderstorms including 6 tornadoes


Image: Track of EF-1 tornado in West Frankfort, IL

10December 2021 Warmest December on record for most the area

Image: Locations that set their warmest December on record