EF2 Tornado confirmed in Burke…Catawba…Caldwell…and Alexander Counties North Carolina

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG, SC (October 26, 2017)…The National Weather Service releases information about Tornado damage from Monday, October 23.


Location…1 NNW Longview in Burke County North Carolina

Date…October 23 2017

Estimated Time…435 PM to 500 PM EDT

Maximum EF-Scale Rating…EF2

Estimated Maximum Wind Speed…125 mph

Maximum Path Width…3900 yards

Path Length…22.83 miles

Beginning Lat/Lon…35.74N / 81.39W

Ending Lat/Lon…36.02N / 81.21W

* Fatalities…0

* Injuries…0

* The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS Storm Data.


An EF2 tornado touched down near the Hickory Regional Airport in extreme eastern Burke County, destroying a hangar and planes inside.  Initially, the tornado was very narrow, with damage localized to the one hangar.  The tornado downed some trees in Winkler Park, then continued northeast straddling the Caldwell/Catawba County line.  While weakening to EF1, the tornado widened to almost 3/4 mile, with damage on either side of Lake Hickory in both counties.  Significant tree damage occurred with hundreds of trees downed, many on houses, cars, and other structures.  Additional tree damage occurred outside the tornado’s path due to widespread intense straight-line winds.  The tornado turned left, narrowed, and straddled the Alexander/Caldwell County line, again resulting in mainly tree damage but with some structural damage from falling trees.  The tornado shifted back northeast, finally weakening and lifting just south of the Alexander/Wilkes County line, west of Highway 16.

This information can also be found on our website at weather.gov/gsp.

For reference: the Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:

EF0…Wind speeds 65 to 85 mph

EF1…Wind speeds 86 to 110 mph

EF2…Wind speeds 111 to 135 mph

EF3…Wind speeds 136 to 165 mph

EF4…Wind speeds 166 to 200 mph

EF5…Wind speeds greater than 200 mph

All above information by the National Weather Service