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Mcdowell County Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes

 
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The chance of earthquake damage in Mcdowell County is higher than North Carolina average and is lower than the national average. The risk of tornado damage in Mcdowell County is lower than North Carolina average and is much lower than the national average.

Topics:Earthquake IndexVolcano IndexTornado IndexOther Weather Extremes EventsVolcanos NearbyHistorical Earthquake EventsHistorical Tornado Events

Earthquake Index, #3

Mcdowell County
0.92
North Carolina
0.18
U.S.
1.81

The earthquake index value is calculated based on historical earthquake events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the earthquake level in a region. A higher earthquake index value means a higher chance of an earthquake.

Volcano Index, #1

Mcdowell County
0.0000
North Carolina
0.0000
U.S.
0.0023

The volcano index value is calculated based on the currently known volcanoes using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the possibility of a region being affected by a possible volcano eruption. A higher volcano index value means a higher chance of being affected.

Tornado Index, #85

Mcdowell County
65.55
North Carolina
115.21
U.S.
136.45

The tornado index value is calculated based on historical tornado events data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the tornado level in a region. A higher tornado index value means a higher chance of tornado events.

Other Weather Extremes Events

A total of 15,342 other weather extremes events within 50 miles of Mcdowell County were recorded from 1950 to 2010. The following is a break down of these events:

TypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCountTypeCount
Avalanche:0Blizzard:0Cold:39Dense Fog:9Drought:105
Dust Storm:0Flood:1,363Hail:4,360Heat:20Heavy Snow:148
High Surf:0Hurricane:18Ice Storm:60Landslide:0Strong Wind:131
Thunderstorm Winds:7,954Tropical Storm:21Wildfire:10Winter Storm:151Winter Weather:102
Other:851 

Volcanos Nearby

No volcano is found in or near Mcdowell County.

Historical Earthquake Events

A total of 1 historical earthquake event that had a recorded magnitude of 3.5 or above found in or near Mcdowell County.

Distance (miles)DateMagnitudeDepth (km)LatitudeLongitude
32.41981-05-053.51335.33-82.43

Historical Tornado Events

A total of 23 historical tornado events that had recorded magnitude of 2 or above found in or near Mcdowell County.

Distance (miles)DateMagnitudeStart Lat/LogEnd Lat/LogLengthWidthFatalitiesInjuriesProperty DamageCrop DamageAffected County
5.81998-05-07235°37'N / 81°59'W35°37'N / 81°59'W3.70 Miles880 Yards00482K0Mcdowell
 Brief Description: Another supercell which tracked across the mountains spawned a tornado that travelled through a portion of Glenwood. Several homes and mobiles sustained damage or were destroyed. Supercell thunderstorms developed in a highly sheared atmosphere in eastern Tennessee then moved east across the mountains, foothills and western piedmont of North Carolina. These long-lived, cyclic supercells produced a considerable amount of large hail and some damaging winds in the mountains. The first tornado of the day in western North Carolina occurred in Madison county. Numerous reports of hail as large as golf balls were reported from the mountains. In Madison and Yancey counties, hail covered roads. More supercell thunderstorms developed behind the previous ones and followed similar tracks. In northern Buncombe county, the town of Barnardsville had three separate severe storms cross overhead and drop hail on the ground to a depth of 3 inches. Yancey county also had 3 separate storms move across the county that accumulated hail to 6 inches in depth. The hail was still on the ground the next morning. As the supercells moved into the foothills, they began to curve a little to the right, indicative of strong mesocyclonic circulations present. One supercell produced several tornadoes from Alexander county to Davie county. Another storm produced a tornado that tracked from western Caldwell county into south-central Alexander county. A third supercell that emerged out of the mountains in McDowell county produced several tornadoes from the southern part of that county to northern Mecklenburg county. Damage was fairly significant across western North Carolina with numerous homes either damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, no one was killed. However, 2 people were injured as a result of the violent F4 tornado in eastern Caldwell county. One person received minor injuries from a lightning strike in Yancey county later in the evening. The storms continued to reform in eastern Tennessee until very late in the evening and still produced large hail as they crossed the border into the mountain counties of North Carolina, before weakening shortly after midnight..
21.91979-05-24235°45'N / 81°40'W0.30 Mile30 Yards00250K0Burke
23.91975-05-18235°23'N / 81°50'W003K0Rutherford
31.51989-05-05435°28'N / 81°35'W35°32'N / 81°29'W5.00 Miles800 Yards03025.0M0Cleveland
33.11974-04-04235°49'N / 81°32'W35°52'N / 81°27'W5.70 Miles33 Yards00250K0Caldwell
33.71989-05-05435°32'N / 81°29'W35°35'N / 81°27'W3.00 Miles800 Yards41925.0M0Lincoln
34.61989-05-05435°35'N / 81°27'W35°41'N / 81°25'W6.00 Miles800 Yards0325.0M0Catawba
34.81989-05-05235°57'N / 81°41'W36°01'N / 81°25'W15.00 Miles73 Yards00250K0Caldwell
34.82010-10-26235°32'N / 81°28'W35°34'N / 81°26'W3.00 Miles200 Yards0111.2M0KLincoln
 Brief Description: EVENT NARRATIVE: This strong tornado touched down near the intersection of Locust Trail and Tola Houser Lane. Several homes at the beginning of the track received major damage to the roof and exterior wall. One home was shifted off its foundation by nearly 20 feet, with an upstairs room removed. Two vehicles at this location were rolled several yards. The tornado moved northeast across Northbrook III School Rd. Several homes were damaged or destroyed and numerous trees snapped off or uprooted just north of the Reeps Grove Church Rd intersection. The damage path at this point was nearly 200 yards wide. The tornado continued northeast, crossing Macedonia Church Rd, Peeler Rd and Patriot Way, with additional homes as well as barns and a chicken house damaged or destroyed. Numerous trees were uprooted or snapped off in this area as well. As the tornado continued east northeast, damage became more intermittent in the area around Palm Tree Church Rd, where only the tops of trees were snapped. The tornado entered into Catawba County in the vicinity of Dansbury Lane. Eleven people were injured, two seriously. EPISODE NARRATIVE: Scattered supercell thunderstorms developed over the western Carolinas and northeast Georgia as strong wind shear and moderate instability overspread the region ahead of a strong cold front. A number of tornadoes were spawned by the storms. Two strong tornadoes affected the western piedmont and foothills of North Carolina.
34.91989-05-05435°11'N / 81°48'W35°15'N / 81°49'W6.00 Miles400 Yards00250K0Rutherford
35.21965-04-09236°11'N / 81°56'W0.50 Mile300 Yards0125K0Avery
37.01998-05-07235°33'N / 81°25'W35°33'N / 81°24'W2.00 Miles440 Yards00212K0Lincoln
 Brief Description: The same supercell that produced the tornado in McDowell county spawned a strong tornado in the Vale and Cat Square area. Four homes were destroyed, 50 homes were damaged, a church roof was partially blown off and numerous trees were downed. Supercell thunderstorms developed in a highly sheared atmosphere in eastern Tennessee then moved east across the mountains, foothills and western piedmont of North Carolina. These long-lived, cyclic supercells produced a considerable amount of large hail and some damaging winds in the mountains. The first tornado of the day in western North Carolina occurred in Madison county. Numerous reports of hail as large as golf balls were reported from the mountains. In Madison and Yancey counties, hail covered roads. More supercell thunderstorms developed behind the previous ones and followed similar tracks. In northern Buncombe county, the town of Barnardsville had three separate severe storms cross overhead and drop hail on the ground to a depth of 3 inches. Yancey county also had 3 separate storms move across the county that accumulated hail to 6 inches in depth. The hail was still on the ground the next morning. As the supercells moved into the foothills, they began to curve a little to the right, indicative of strong mesocyclonic circulations present. One supercell produced several tornadoes from Alexander county to Davie county. Another storm produced a tornado that tracked from western Caldwell county into south-central Alexander county. A third supercell that emerged out of the mountains in McDowell county produced several tornadoes from the southern part of that county to northern Mecklenburg county. Damage was fairly significant across western North Carolina with numerous homes either damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, no one was killed. However, 2 people were injured as a result of the violent F4 tornado in eastern Caldwell county. One person received minor injuries from a lightning strike in Yancey county later in the evening. The storms continued to reform in eastern Tennessee until very late in the evening and still produced large hail as they crossed the border into the mountain counties of North Carolina, before weakening shortly after midnight..
37.21973-05-27335°10'N / 81°46'W35°18'N / 81°36'W13.20 Miles100 Yards03250K0Cleveland
37.41989-05-05435°10'N / 81°50'W35°11'N / 81°48'W3.00 Miles700 Yards002.5M0Cherokee
39.01994-03-27235°03'N / 82°03'W35°24'N / 81°14'W25.00 Miles75 Yards00500K0Spartanburg
39.61989-05-05435°05'N / 81°56'W35°10'N / 81°50'W6.00 Miles700 Yards2352.5M0Spartanburg
40.31951-08-09235°45'N / 81°20'W0.50 Mile100 Yards0025K0Catawba
41.11998-05-07435°52'N / 81°23'W35°52'N / 81°19'W4.00 Miles1320 Yards021.1M0Caldwell
 Brief Description: A violent, F4 tornado touched down near Dudley Shoals then moved east-southeast cutting a winding path through valleys, to the Alexander county border. The damage path was 100 yards wide on average, but reached a width of 3/4 of a mile at times. One well-constructed home was totally destroyed, other homes were damaged, and many mobile homes sustained damage or were destroyed. Supercell thunderstorms developed in a highly sheared atmosphere in eastern Tennessee then moved east across the mountains, foothills and western piedmont of North Carolina. These long-lived, cyclic supercells produced a considerable amount of large hail and some damaging winds in the mountains. The first tornado of the day in western North Carolina occurred in Madison county. Numerous reports of hail as large as golf balls were reported from the mountains. In Madison and Yancey counties, hail covered roads. More supercell thunderstorms developed behind the previous ones and followed similar tracks. In northern Buncombe county, the town of Barnardsville had three separate severe storms cross overhead and drop hail on the ground to a depth of 3 inches. Yancey county also had 3 separate storms move across the county that accumulated hail to 6 inches in depth. The hail was still on the ground the next morning. As the supercells moved into the foothills, they began to curve a little to the right, indicative of strong mesocyclonic circulations present. One supercell produced several tornadoes from Alexander county to Davie county. Another storm produced a tornado that tracked from western Caldwell county into south-central Alexander county. A third supercell that emerged out of the mountains in McDowell county produced several tornadoes from the southern part of that county to northern Mecklenburg county. Damage was fairly significant across western North Carolina with numerous homes either damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, no one was killed. However, 2 people were injured as a result of the violent F4 tornado in eastern Caldwell county. One person received minor injuries from a lightning strike in Yancey county later in the evening. The storms continued to reform in eastern Tennessee until very late in the evening and still produced large hail as they crossed the border into the mountain counties of North Carolina, before weakening shortly after midnight..
42.11973-05-27335°00'N / 82°03'W35°10'N / 81°46'W19.80 Miles100 Yards042.5M0Cherokee
43.51990-02-10235°12'N / 81°33'W0.40 Mile50 Yards00250K0Cleveland
45.11985-08-17234°58'N / 82°00'W35°06'N / 81°55'W9.00 Miles100 Yards0392.5M0Spartanburg
49.01954-08-18235°40'N / 81°12'W35°44'N / 81°09'W5.40 Miles50 Yards0025K0Catawba
50.01969-04-18235°01'N / 81°42'W0.50 Mile83 Yards0025K0Cherokee


* The information on this page is based on the global volcano database, the U.S. earthquake database of 1638-1985, and the U.S. Tornado and Weather Extremes database of 1950-2010.


 
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