The Central Florida Tornado Outbreak of February 22nd & 23rd, 1998 

Click here for a Service Assessment of the Tornado Outbreak.

Multifaceted General Overview of the East Central Florida Tornado Outbreak of 22-23 February 1998

Another Summary of the Outbreak (with products issued)


On February 22, 1998, a massive and powerful weather system approached central Florida from the northwest and Gulf of Mexico.  Later that night, thunderstorms associated with this storm system spawned three tornado-producing supercells, and we've all seen the tragic results.

The magnitude of the tornado outbreak is such that it would be difficult to meaningfully depict actual tornado damage in this format.  Intensive damage assessments and surveys have been conducted to make additional information available.

These graphics depict an approximate track of the thunderstorm "supercells" which produced the mesocyclones associated with the tornadoes that raked Central Florida on the 22nd & 23rd of February, 1998.  These mesocyclone tracks are approximated from radar imagery. Some of the imagery is provided here as well, for a preliminary overview.

Below are a series of reflectivity and storm-relative velocity images. The scale to the right of each image reveals the associated radar return in dBZ (reflectivity; brighter colors equate to heavier rainfall) and wind speed in knots (storm relative velocity; green colors indicate motion toward the radar site, while red colors indicate motion away from the radar site; in this case the Melbourne radar.

Mesocyclone 1

Mesocyclone 1 primarily affected Volusia County, near De Leon Springs and then Daytona Beach.

Radar imagery associated primarily with mesocyclone 1:

Reflectivity product on February 22, 1998 at 9:46 EST

Doppler velocity Product February 22, 1998 at 9:51 PM EST

Reflectivity product on February 22, 1998 at 10:51 PM EST


Doppler velocity product on February 22, 1998 at 10:51 PM EST 

Mesocyclone 2

Mesocyclone 2 primarily affected areas of Orange, Seminole, and Volusia Counties passing from Winter Garden and Ocoee through Longwood, Sanford, Osteen and finally Edgewater.

Radar images associated primarily with mesocyclone 2:

Reflectivity Product on February 22, 1998 at 11:29 PM EST

 Doppler Velocity product on February 22, 1998 at 11:29 PM EST

Reflectivity Product on February 23, 1998 at 12:05 PM EST

Doppler Velocity product on February 23, 1998 at 12:05 AM EST 

Mesocyclone 3

Mesocyclone 3 primarily affected area from Intersession city through Kissimmee in Osceola County then to near Titusville and Cape Canaveral in Brevard County.

Reflectivity product from February 23, 1998 at 12:10 AM

Doppler velocity product from February 23, 1998 at 12:10 AM EST 

Here are a few pictures representative of some of the damage in the Kissimmee area.

Read about the EL NINO connection with central Florida severe weather. 

last update: 2/22/2013 MRV is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.