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The worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history

Posted by feww on April 29, 2011

Deadly Tornado Swarm Kills 317 in 8 States

Death Toll Expected to Rise; Unconfirmed Toll at 325

Confirmed Death Toll by State

Alabama: 210
Tennessee: 35
Mississippi: 33
Georgia: 16   (Ringgold has 7 tornado deaths: Bradley County 9)
Arkansas: 12
Virginia 8   (Tornadoes tear across South)
Louisiana: 2
Kentucky: 1  (most recent death toll in the state)
Total: 317
(as of posting)

The Dark Wednesday: Tornado Attacks the Worst U.S. Natural Disaster Since Hurricane Katrina  


The Dark Wednesday: SPC received 211 tornado reports among a total of 806 severe weather reports.

Hurricane Katrina claimed an estimated 1,800 lives in 2005; death toll from tornadoes and storms attacks is at least 316, and mounting.

Wednesday’s tornadoes are now the deadliest in the U.S. history, breaking previous record was set on April 3, 1974 when twisters killed 310 people.


Thursday reports, as of posting. Click image to enlarge.


Relative frequency of killer tornado events, 1950-2004. White area indicates area with greatest frequency of tornado-related fatalities during the period. Red area had the second greatest frequency of tornado-related fatalities. © Copyright [2007] American Meteorological Society (AMS).

GOES Eastern US SECTOR Infrared Image

Storm fronts have life cycles not unlike butterflies. The deadly “butterfly” flies off the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

Most Recent USA East Medium-Resolution Satellite Image 

NOAA GOES 13  @ 08:01UTC April 29, 2011

How Bad?

The tornadoes and violent storms that ripped through 8 states left  “major, major” trails of destruction in their paths.

“As we flew down from Birmingham, the track is all the way down, and then when you get in Tuscaloosa here it’s devastating,” Gov. Robert Bentley said, declaring Alabama “a major, major disaster.”

Entire civic infrastructures were wiped out as tornadoes and storms leveled entire neighborhoods in various parts of the South, obliterating homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, churches, trees, power lines…

At least 36 people were killed in Tuscaloosa, with more than 600 injured, local media reported.

There are no official reports of the dimension of destruction as yet; however, FIRE-EARTH estimates that up to 6 thousands structures may have been razed/damaged, with an estimated loss of about 10 billion dollars.

States of Emergency

Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

Super-cell T-storms

“These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen,” Greg Carbin of the SPC in Oklahoma told the AP.

The twister that destroyed large parts of Tuscaloosa, is believed to have been an EF-5 tornado [See below for Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale.]

“We have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map,” Tuscaloosa mayor Walter Maddox said, describing the damage as a path of “utter destruction.”

Another large twister, possibly an EF-4 tornado, reportedly destroyed about 90% of the town Hackleburg, in Alabama’s Marion County.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-4 tornado touched down in the Tennessee Valley, a report said.

Storm Shuts Down 3  TVA Nuclear Reactors at Browns Ferry in Alabama

The 3 reactors at TVA’s 3,297-megawatt Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama switched over to emergency diesel generators to supply power for the reactors cooling system at 5:30 EDT (22:30 UTC) after storms knocked out  transmission lines that supplied power, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency said. More…

On April 20, a tornado reportedly damaged the switchyard at Dominion’s Surry Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) forcing both aging reactor units to shut down.

About  650,000 homes and business were still without power, mostly in northern Alabama and Mississippi, Thursday night, a report said.

“Roughly 70 high powered transmission lines remain out of service, with some creating dangerous situations because they’ve fallen across roads.”

Browns Ferry nuclear plant won’t restart so long as so much of the grid is down, TVA chief of operations was quoted as saying.

“When the system is ready for the plant, we can begin the process of restarting it. But we have to get the transmission system ready.”

Forecast: Large-scale lightning outbreaks

Unfortunately, the worst may NOT be over yet.  In addition to more tornadoes and violent storms this year and the next, FIRE-EARTH forecasts phenomenally large-scale outbreaks of potentially deadly lightning clusters throughout the United States.

Related Links

Global Disasters

FEWW Forecasts

Too Bad Climate Juggernaut Delivering Deadlier Loads Next Year! Based on various climatic indicators and recent weather trends, FIRE-EARTH forecasts an increase of about 24% in the severity of extreme weather events during the next 20 months, compared with the previous period.

THE NEXT MAJOR DISASTER COULD STRIKE THE U.S.
The next major anthropogenic or human-enhanced natural disaster [e.g., climate related] could occur in the United States with a probability of 0.75

Brace for the Worst Ever

Climatic  Extremes, Primeval Geophysical Activities and WILD Weather to Wreak Mega Havoc in 2011/2012 and Beyond …

NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO POWER DOWN AND START THINKING HARD.  Encourage your folks, friends and neighbors to join in!! BECAUSE  for most of us the GAME would be OVER soon.

Flooding and fires, earthquakes and eruptions, deadly tornadoes and strong storms … are just some of the items you’ve ordered from the climate change quick menu!

2011 Tornadoes Ever Deadlier: FEWW

Start of Meteorological Spring Signals Hyper Tornado Season

Based on several climatic indicators and recent weather trends, FIRE-EARTH forecasts a deadly peak tornado season in 2011.

Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale


F-0  [39%]
40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken

F-1 [35%]
73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned

F-2 [20%]
113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted

F-3  [5%]
158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown

F-4 [0.9%]
207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled

F-5 [<0.1%]
261-318 mph, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters

Source: US gov. [Figures in brackets represent long-term relative frequencies— revised by FIRE-EARTH]

Last updated @ 13:45UTC, April 29, 2011

One Response to “The worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history”

  1. E said

    [Tornado stats prior to 1950 are massively unreliable. And reports since 1950 are mercilessly and methodically manipulated to leave the worst in the past. Moderator]

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