Last week, February 2010 appeared to be a tornado-free month in the entire United States for the first time since 1950.
However, that turned out to be premature, as a report was received by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) at 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 27.
The twister occurred 15 miles northeast of Taft, Calif., and was turned in by a trained spotter. There was no damage associated with the tornado.
Despite the discovery of a report last month, it is still the least amount of tornadoes ever recorded in the month of February.
February's previous low was two tornado reports, occurring in both 1964 and 2002.
There are typically 22 tornadoes on average during the month, based on reports dating back to 1950 from the SPC, so it was incredibly rare not to have one.
"Despite it being an El Nino year, which would normally mean severe weather in the South, the jet stream has been depressing cold air very far south, and it has combined with cooler-than-normal Gulf of Mexico water temperatures," Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity said. "These have led to the suppression of severe weather in February."
According to the SPC, only five months since 1950 have failed to turn in a tornado report: October 1952, December 1963, November 1976, January 1986 and January 2003.
While there was only one tornado report, there were 32 other severe weather occurrences. Nineteen severe wind events and 13 incidents of hail were reported.