February 1965 South Florida tornado outbreak

February 1965 South Florida tornado outbreak

The February 1965 South Florida tornado outbreak was a tornado outbreak that affected the southern Florida peninsula on February 23, 1965. At least four confirmed tornadoes touched down between 10 a.m.–1 p.m. EST; the strongest tornado moved through the Fort Lauderdale area and produced F3 damage on the Fujita scale, injuring six people. In addition, a F1 tornado also moved through northern Broward and southern Palm Beach counties. Two tornadoes also affected Lee County, producing F2 and F1 damage, respectively. 50 percent of the tornadoes attained strong (F2–F3) or violent (F4–F5) intensity.


The first tornado of the outbreak touched down around 10:49 a.m. EST near Coral Springs and dissipated near Delray Beach. The second tornado touched down near Chula Vista and moved north-northeast across western portions of the city of Fort Lauderdale, affecting 40 blocks of the city. The small funnel was visible from a jetliner waiting to take off from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Later, it briefly lifted prior to touching down in Oakland Park, and it dissipated northeast of Wilton Manors. One home was destroyed, while seven trailers, three cars, and multiple trucks received severe damage. The width of the damage path did not exceed 60 yards (20 feet). The tornado caused six injuries. The tornado is officially estimated to have been a F3 event. It remains one of only three F3 tornadoes to affect Broward County since 1950; the others occurred on April 10, 1956 and March 1, 1980. However, at least one source disputes the rating, listing the 1965 tornado at F2 status. The third and fourth tornadoes touched down around 12:45 p.m. EST in the Fort Myers and San Carlos Park areas, respectively. The last tornado inflicted two injuries.

Tornado table

Confirmed tornadoes


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