Between November and December 2009, 51 tornadoes touched down across eight states.[note 1] Collectively, the tornadoes injured nine people and wrought $20.36 million,[note 2] much of which resulted from an EF3—the strongest tornado during the two-month period—that struck Lufkin, Texas, on December 23. Compared to annual averages, November was one of the quietest on record while December was one of the most active on record for their respective months. With only three confirmed events in November, the month ranks as the third quietest on record since 1950.[note 3] The opposite is true for December, during which 48 tornadoes touched down; at the time, this was the second highest since 2000 and the sixth highest since reliable records began.
A strong thunderstorm produced a waterspout along the coastline near Lincoln City. Once onshore and classifiable as a tornado, the system tracked through Roads End, damaging eleven homes and three cars. One home had nearly half its roof destroyed. Several trees were also uprooted and/or snapped; one tree was tossed roughly 20 yd (18 m) by the tornado.
Another short-lived tornado touched down in a forested area, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. With winds estimated at 85 mph (140 km/h), this tornado nearly 500 trees were uprooted or damaged. Two hunters in the forest at the time were trapped by the felled trees and required rescue, though they sustained no injuries. Losses were placed at $100,000 in the national forest.
A second tornado in Putnam County struck a more populated area; two structures were damaged and another destroyed. A mobile home was rolled on its side by the tornado but the occupant was unharmed. Hundreds of trees and several power lines were also felled by the tornado. Total losses were placed at $120,000.
A tornado touched down near Lake Jackson and traveled east-northeast. One home lost a large portion of its shingles with debris carried 50 to 100 ft (15 to 30 m) away. The tornado also snapped three large trees in the home's backyard.
A mobile home and shed were destroyed, with debris thrown 0.25 mi (0.40 km) away; one person inside the mobile home was injured. A school bus was tossed into a ditch; the driver escaped without injury. Numerous trees and power lines were snapped along the tornado's path.
Three buildings were destroyed, including a welding shop and a funeral home. Many houses sustained significant roof damage and tree damage was widespread, including in a park. Several 18-wheelers were also thrown. Two people were injured.
At least 30 houses were damaged, primarily in a single subdivision that was especially hard hit where four houses were heavily damaged. The worst damage was a house that completely lost its roof. Four people were injured.
^Event listings by the National Climatic Data Center are divided by county. As such, tornadoes that track across multiple counties are split into multiple summaries and the total number of event listings does not represent the actual number of tornadoes.
^All damage totals are in 2009 USD unless otherwise stated.
^Extensive tornado records, compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, begin in 1950; however, it is widely known that improving technology and reports from storm chasers have improved the comprehensiveness of data in recent years and countless tornadoes in older years have gone undocumented.
^Although no official definition of a tornado outbreak exists, Grazulis (1993) describes one as "a group or family of six or more tornadoes spawned by the same general weather system." Galway (1975) described events with 6–9 tornadoes as small, 10–19 as moderate, and ≥20 as large. Furthermore, an outbreak in Florida—south of 30°N—is defined by Hagemeyer and Matney (1994) as "four or more tornadoes in [four] hours or less."