Remembering the Super Outbreak 5 years later

- It has now been 5 years since that horrific April where so many lost so much.  April 2011 was almost unprecedented.  Round after round after round of severe weather hit millions that month, culminating on one of the largest multiday tornado outbreaks in US history on the 26th, 27th, & 28th.  There were more than 300 tornadoes that touched down in the U.S. in those three days.  That’s five times the average number of tornadoes in the entire month and broke the April record for most tornadoes… and that doesn’t even include the rest of the month.  This graphic sums it up… 3 days… 300+ tornadoes… more than 300 killed… nearly 3000 injured…

Those three days I think also broke the mold for many.  For whatever reason, there is this stigma that big cities can’t get hit by tornadoes.  Clearly, from these three days alone, we know that’s wrong.  Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Alabama, suburbs of Dallas, Nashville Tennessee, & even Washington DC all getting hit over those 3 days… 

Over the course of the month, a dozen or so large metro areas would get rocked by tornadoes… Raleigh Durham North Carolina, Little Rock Arkansas, Memphis Tennessee, Jackson Mississippi, Atlanta Georgia, and St Louis Missouri.  St Louis got hit with an EF4 just 5 days before the super outbreak to their south.  Clearly though, parts of Mississippi and Alabama were worst hit.  Billions of dollars in damage and countless lives lost.  April 26-28 was the deadliest multiday severe weather event since the 1930s… some 80 years earlier, when we didn’t have ways to get warning.  In all, over 750 tornadoes touched down that month…

Hundreds were killed, not just by tornadoes, but wind and hail as well… striking major metro areas across much of the east.  In all, over 6000 reports of severe weather were tallied.  Some of the largest severe weather outbreaks in history all came in that month, with April 4th & April 19th both coming in with over 1000 reports of severe weather alone.  There have been just a handful of days in US history that have done that, if you include April 27th, this month had THREE of them…

I guess terrible things really do come in threes.  I think everyone can agree that we hope this NEVER happens again.

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