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One of the worst tornado outbreaks in a decade 

The Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak of 2008, as named by Wikipedia authors, also called the 'Election Day Tornadoes' by several news organizations, was a severe wave of tornadoes that spawned from a highly unstable air mass situated over the Southern United States and the lower Ohio Valley during the evening hours of February 5, 2008, through the following morning.  The National Weather Service's official name for the event was the (2008) 'Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak.'

The meteorological event coincided with the primary election event known as Super Tuesday when twenty-four states held primary elections and caucuses for both political parties.  Primaries were held in many tornado-affected states including Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee.   

The outbreak produced several destructive twisters in heavily populated areas, notably in the Memphis metropolitan area and in Jackson, Tennessee.  Hail ranging in size from peas to golf balls and softballs in rare cases rained down on areas in the affected states.  More at : Storm report data from NOAA

The estimated death toll from the tornado outbreak rose quickly during the early hours of February 6, rising from about 22 deaths at 4:00am EST to 27 by 5:00am EST.   By 9:00am, there were varying reports of estimated fatalities, ranging from 33 to 45.  By 11:00am, CNN and other news organizations were estimating the death toll in the range of 45 to 50.  The final number of confirmed deaths stood at 59.  Injuries were in the hundreds.

VIDEO: brief video of tornado in Atkins, Arkansas, which stayed on the ground for 2 hours, covering 123 miles

Tornado Safety PSA