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The March 20-21, 2023 tornado outbreak was a significant, and usually far north tornado outbreak for that time of year, that affected the Midwestern United States. This was the first major tornado outbreak of that year.

March 20-21, 2023 tornado outbreak
Dupree South Dakota tornado.jpg
View of the EF5 tornado as it passed north of Cumming, Iowa
Date of tornado outbreak: March 20-21, 2023
Duration1:  ?
Maximum rated tornado2: EF5 tornado
Tornadoes caused: 25
Damages: $4 billion (2023)
Fatalities: 12 (3 non-tornadic)
Areas affected:

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

On the March 17 a trough came off the Pacific, crossed the central Rockies, and flooded into the northern Plains. It first started as a snowstorm in Southeast Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle; it was too cold for storm initiation in Colorado. On March 20 a few weak tornadoes touched down in Southern Nebraska. Next day the thunderstorm, and tornado risk went up greatly, and tornadoes where confirmed in Iowa and Missouri. In Iowa, 21 tornadoes were reported, 7 where strong, and 2 violent tornadoes, 1 rated EF5, caused significant damage in the central part of the Des Moines metropolitan area; 10 people lost their lives around the Des Moines International Airport area. In addition, one EF4 tornado formed around the West Bend area in northern Iowa, and 2 people lost their life's in the Rolfe area. Thousands of structures where destroyed across Iowa, somewhere flatted in the Des Moines area. 13 other weak tornadoes happened around Iowa, and one in Missouri.

Next day, it shifted to a squall line threat, and it developed, and moved fast across Alabama, and Georgia. Multiple wind damage reports where in central Alabama, there were no tornadoes reported with the line. All and all, severe weather associated with the system responsible for the deaths of 15 people (12 from tornadoes) and around 300 injuries were reported. Damage was estimated to have been around $2 billion, making it one of the more costly severe weather events on record.

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