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Friday, April 29, 2011

Record Breaking Weather Event

The storm system that ravaged the southeast Wednesday and Thursday not only broke, it shattered the record for the number of tornados reported in one event. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the following data today.

NOAA's preliminary estimate is that there were 211 tornadoes on April 27-28, 2011.

  • During the multi-day period of April 26-28, The National Weather Service (NWS) estimates there were a total of 288 tornadoes.
  • NWS issued outlooks five days in advance, watches hours in advance, and tornado warnings with an average lead time of 24 minutes. NWS issued warnings for more than 90 percent of these tornadoes.
  • The largest previous number of tornadoes on record in one event occurred from April 3-4, 1974, with 148 tornadoes.

Current media reports indicate the death toll is 355 people, and rising. This makes the event the second deadliest tornado outbreak on record.

  • The April 27-28, 2011, tornado outbreak is the deadliest since the March 18, 1925, tornado outbreak that had 747 fatalities.
  • Based on combined NOAA, historical research records and current fatality estimates, the April 27-28, 2011, tornado outbreak ranks 6th in single day total fatalities in the United States history. The historic research records extend back to 1680.
  • The deadliest single tornado on record was the Tri-State Tornado (Mo., Ill., Ind.) on March 18, 1925, when 695 died.
  • Based on combined NOAA and historical research records, the deadliest single day for tornadoes was March 18, 1925, with 747 fatalities across 7 states (including the Tri State Tornado).

Month of April 2011 (and record monthly) tornado statistics

NWS’s preliminary estimate is that there have been more than 600 tornadoes thus far during the month of April 2011.

  • The previous record number of tornadoes during the month of April was 267 tornadoes set in April 1974.
  • The previous record number of tornadoes during any month was 542 tornadoes set in May 2003.
  • The average number of tornadoes for the month of April during the past decade is around 160.

DEATH TOLL BY US STATE:
Alabama – 254
Tennessee – 34
Mississippi – 34
Georgia – 15
Arkansas – 11
Virginia – 5
Kentucky – 1
Louisiana – 1

The most troubling information in their report is the fact that May is historically the most active month for tornadoes.

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