Over 300 dead in historic tornado outbreak; one violent EF-5 tornado confirmed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:20 PM GMT en Abril 29, 2011

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Rescuers sifting through the twisted wreckage of countless towns ravaged by Wednesday's historic tornado outbreak continue to uncover bodies today, and the death toll has swollen to over 300 this morning, and may be as high as 319. Hardest hit was Alabama, with at least 213 dead. Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, and Virginia are each reporting 11 - 34 deaths. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged 211 preliminary reports of tornadoes between 8am EDT Wednesday and 8am Thursday, and 346 reports for the full 4-day period of the outbreak, from April 25 - April 28. Twenty-two of these tornadoes were killer tornadoes; deaths occurred in six states. Damage surveys will take another week to complete, but preliminary surveys indicate that at least one of the tornadoes was an EF-5--the Smithville, Mississippi tornado, which hit at 3:44pm EDT on Wednesday. That tornado killed 13 people and destroyed 166 buildings, and reportedly sucked fire hydrants out of the ground. Some well-built modern 2-story homes that were bolted to their foundations were completely destroyed, leaving only the foundation. This type of damage is characteristic of an EF-5 tornado with 205 mph winds. The Smithville tornado is the first EF-5 tornado in Mississippi since the Candlestick Park tornado of March 3, 1966. Three other tornadoes from Wednesday's outbreak have been given preliminary EF-4 ratings, with winds of 166 - 200 mph. These include the Phil Campbell, AL tornado (26 deaths), the Ringgold, GA tornado (7 deaths), the Tanner, GA tornado (11 deaths), and the Apison, Tennessee tornado (13 deaths, and possibly the same tornado that hit Ringgold.) The violent tornado that ravaged Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama, killing at least 46 people and injuring 600, has not yet been given an official rating. I expect this tornado will be rated an EF-4 (possibly an EF-5.) This tornado is likely to be the most expensive tornado of all-time, and damage from the April 25 - 28 outbreak is likely rank as the most expensive tornado outbreak in history. The current record is the $3.5 billion price tag, in 2005 dollars, of the April 3 - 4, 1974 Super Outbreak . According wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt in his post The World's Deadliest Tornadoes, the death toll of 319 makes the April 25 - 28, 2011 tornado outbreak the fourth deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history, and the deadliest since 1936. It is the deadliest of the past 50 years, surpassing the April 3 - 4, 1974 Super Outbreak (315 killed) and the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak (256 killed.)


Figure 1. Still frame from an animation showing the height and extent of the rain columns associated with the thunderstorms that spawned Wednesday's tornadoes. This data, taken from NASA's TRMM satellite, showed that some of these violent storms reached incredible heights of almost 10.6 miles (17 km.) Image credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce

The 4-day total of preliminary tornado reports of 346 from this outbreak is close to the 323 preliminary tornado reports logged during the massive April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak. That outbreak has 155 confirmed tornadoes so far, making it the largest April tornado outbreak on record, and 3rd largest in history. The numbers from this week's outbreak may be even higher, giving April 2011 the 3rd and 4th largest tornado outbreaks in history, and the deadliest outbreak in 75 years. According to a list of tornado outbreaks maintained by Wikipedia, only two other tornado outbreaks have had as many as 150 twisters--the May 2004 outbreak (385), and the May 2003 outbreak (401).


Figure 2. Storm chaser video from Reed Timmer and tornadovideos.net of four tornadoes that hit Alabama and Mississippi on Wednesday.


Figure 3. Storm chaser video of the tornado that moved through Philadelphia, Mississippi on Wednesday.

Unprecedented flooding predicted on Ohio and Mississippi Rivers
This week's storm system, in combination with heavy rains earlier this month, have pushed the Ohio River and Mississippi River to near-record levels near their confluence. The Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois is expected to crest at 60.5 feet on May 1. This would exceed 100-year flood stage, and be the highest flood in history, besting the 59.5' mark of 1937. Heavy rains of 10 - 15 inches have inundated the region over the past week. Additional rains of 1 - 3 inches are expected over the next five days.


Figure 4. Rainfall for the 7-day period ending at 8am EDT Thursday, April 28, 2011. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.

Record 100+ year flood expected on Mississippi River
Snow melt from this winter's record snow pack across the Upper Mississippi River has formed a pulse of flood waters that is moving downstream. When this floodwater pulse moves south of Cairo, Illinois over the next two weeks, it will join with the record water flow coming out of the Ohio River, and create the highest flood heights ever recorded on the Mississippi, according to the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service. Along a 400-mile stretch of the Mississippi, from Cairo to Natchez, Mississippi the Mississippi is expected to experience the highest flood heights since records began 100 or more years ago, at 5 of the 10 gauges on the river along this stretch. The records are predicted to begin to fall on May 3 at New Madrid, and progress downstream to Natchez by May 20. Areas that are not protected by levees can expect extensive damage from the flooding, and it is possible that the Army Corps of Engineers will have to intentionally dynamite levees at Birds Point and New Madrid, Missouri to protect the town of Cairo from flooding. One unofficial estimate I saw on the Army Corps of Engineers web site put the cost of intentionally breaching the levees at Birds Point and New Madrid at $100 million dollars, due to damage to the croplands and structures in the flooded area. No levee has failed on the Lower Mississippi south of the Ohio River junction since 1950, and the Army Corp of Engineers has designed the levee system to contain a 500-year flood. This means that the Mississippi River flood of 2011--which will be somewhere between a 100-year and 200-year flood between Cairo and Natchez--is not likely to be a multi-billion-dollar disaster like the 1993 flood on the Upper Mississippi, where many levees failed.

The Mississippi River at New Madrid, MO, about 40 miles downstream of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, is currently at 44.9', the 2nd highest flood in history. The river is predicted to crest on Tuesday very near the all-time record height of 48 feet. The NWS warns that at this height, "Large amounts of property damage can be expected. Evacuation of many homes and businesses becomes necessary." Previous record heights at this location:

(1) 48.00 ft on 02/03/1937
(2) 44.60 ft on 04/09/1913
(3) 43.60 ft on 04/04/1975
(4) 43.50 ft on 02/16/1950
(5) 42.94 ft on 03/17/1997

The timing of the floods crests will depend upon a complex mix a factors, including how much rain falls over the next month, the possible influence of southerly winds holding up the floodwater pulses, the potential opening of flood control structures and reduction of flows from flood control reservoirs, and potential levee failures. The Mississippi River is expected to crest at 17 feet at New Orleans on May 22, three feet below the top of the levees. This would likely require opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway 28 miles upstream from New Orleans, to relieve pressure on the city's levees. Opening the spillway drains 250,000 cubic feet per second of flow into Lake Pontchartrain.

Helping out tornado victims
For those who want to lend a helping hand to those impacted by the widespread destruction this month's severe weather has brought, stop by the portlight.org blog.

Related post: Are tornadoes getting stronger and more frequent? The answer is--we don't know.

Jeff Masters

Tornado Damage (GeorgiaPeach)
Tornado damage at County Line Road near Old Alabama Road on the Bradley/Hamilton County line in Tennessee
Tornado Damage

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Quoting aquak9:
It doesn't really matter if it's an EF3 or an EF5. If your home is wiped, it's wiped. Even if they classify it as a drunk driver.

washingtonian- gotta love your viscosity.


10W30?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It doesn't really matter if it's an EF3 or an EF5. If your home is wiped, it's wiped. Even if they classify it as a drunk driver.

washingtonian- gotta love your viscosity.
Member Since: Agosto 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25756
@ 520. Nea.
If you re-read my comment, you'll see the refinement refers to "subjective assessment" not to the scale itself. I still believe you are splitting hairs. No one in Bridge Creek, OK whose home was wiped clean off the face of Earth would likely give you the time of day if you tried to tell them their tornado wasn't equal to an F5 on the enhanced scale.

I'll let you get back to doodling on your napkin...
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<
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524. beell
It's possible there were more tornadoes in the 1974 Super Outbreak that weren't accounted for, all at the lower end of the Fujita-Pearson scale. I compared the category distributions of several high-count outbreaks between 1992 and 2008, and came up with the following averages:

Just curious, Neap. Where did those numbers come from? Several? Not all of them?
Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16256
Quoting AussieStorm:


Is June 22 an early start? The 1974 Atlantic Hurricane season also contained 4 sub-tropical storms. June 24 to June 25, July 16 to July 19, August 12 to August 15 and October 4 to October 8. Tropical Depression One developed in the BOC on June 22 and dissipated June 26 above the Catoche Tongue. The last Storm was a relatively late one, Tropical Depression Seventeen, formed November 10 and dissipated November 12.
ATL 1974.


EPAC 1974




WPAC 1974.
Member Since: Julio 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
There is just something unnatural about watching a helicopter float by.

"Just released video from the Japan Coast Guard shows the devastating tsunami hit the Sendai airport and nearby areas."
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Member Since: Julio 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
@508. Nea.
From one of the links bl posted at 490.
When the committee met to develop the Enhanced Fujita Scale (see original document) one point was made very clear: it must continue to support and maintain the original tornado database.; In other word, there must be some conformity to that of the F-Scale that is listed in the database.

When these scales were "blended" it was done in a way that intentionally preserved previous plain old "F" designations.

You state many tornadoes were likely overestimated.
Maybe some were underestimated. New scale does not eliminate subjective assessment. Just refines it. 'fraid your argument doesn't hold water with me.

Also, there were 7 (E)F5s in 1974 super outbreak, not 6. See link at comment 481 - official SPC list.

Well, my math was hardly scientifically perfect. But given the strength distributions of every other major outbreak of the past several decades, it's far more likely that a number of the 1974 SO storms were mistakenly placed into a category higher than they should have been rather than vice versa. One would have to admit that it would require an extremely anomalous outbreak indeed to produce 300% more F3s, 1300% more F4s, and 1400% more F5s than the what the long-term averages would dictate.

Even Dr. Fujita himself recognized the limitations and possibilities for errors in his original scale--especially at the higher end of it--and he was working towards a better method when he retired (and even afterward). You're right in stating the the Enhanced Scale doesn't remove subjectivity--but its designers did more than simply refine it.

Anyway, just some back-of-the-napkin doodling...
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13462
Quoting AussieStorm:


Is June 22 an early start? The 1974 Atlantic Hurricane season also contained 4 sub-tropical storms. June 24 to June 25, July 16 to July 19, August 12 to August 15 and October 4 to October 8. Tropical Depression One developed in the BOC on June 22 and dissipated June 26 above the Catoche Tongue. The last Storm was a relatively late one, Tropical Depression Seventeen, formed November 10 and dissipated November 12.
ATL 1974.


EPAC 1974




WPAC 1974.
When compared to some years it is an early start.So if we look at this in the big picture it seems that if history repeats it's self this season will start early and end late??
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
517. beell
Some good Tornado Outbreak Climatology/Statistics presented at the May 2004, Oklahoma Chapter of the AMS.

Stephen Corfidi SPC
Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16256
508, Do you ever let up on your spin? Gheeze!

Here, have fun with this.....What is up with this Doc?

Rebuttal?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/30/are-gulf-of -mexico-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-near-to- record-levels/

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Quoting washingtonian115:
And!! the season got off to an early start.Boy this is interesting!!!!!.Yes yes yes!!.I'm gonna look into this more.The U.S was also affected by a major hurricane.It was western Louisiana.The same place that in all the analog years was affeted.Man this is awesome!! information/history I'm getting.Also their were storms that affected the east coast.Another place that's at risk this year.The western/southern section of Florida was affected that year.Which just some happens to be at higher risk this year.1974 has become a close analog.With almost same weather patterns.


Is June 22 an early start? The 1974 Atlantic Hurricane season also contained 4 sub-tropical storms. June 24 to June 25, July 16 to July 19, August 12 to August 15 and October 4 to October 8. Tropical Depression One developed in the BOC on June 22 and dissipated June 26 above the Catoche Tongue. The last Storm was a relatively late one, Tropical Depression Seventeen, formed November 10 and dissipated November 12.
ATL 1974.


EPAC 1974




WPAC 1974.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
@508. Nea.
From one of the links bl posted at 490,
When the committee met to develop the Enhanced Fujita Scale (see original document) one point was made very clear: it must continue to support and maintain the original tornado database.; In other word, there must be some conformity to that of the F-Scale that is listed in the database.

When these scales were "blended" it was done in a way that intentionally preserved previous plain old "F" designations.

You state many tornadoes were likely overestimated.
Maybe some were underestimated. New scale does not eliminate subjective assessment. Just refines it. 'fraid your argument doesn't hold water with me.

Also, there were 7 (E)F5s in 1974 super outbreak, not 6. See link at comment 481 - official SPC list.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
And!! the season got off to an early start.Boy this is interesting!!!!!.Yes yes yes!!.I'm gonna look into this more.The U.S was also affected by a major hurricane.It was western Louisiana.The same place that in all the analog years was affeted.Man this is awesome!! information/history I'm getting.Also their were storms that affected the east coast.Another place that's at risk this year.The western/southern section of Florida was affected that year.Which just some happens to be at higher risk this year.1974 has become a close analog.With almost same weather patterns.
Man I'm so awesome/viscious when it comes to tropical weather.
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
Quoting washingtonian115:
Mmmm now that you bring that up very interesting.Ahhhh now I'm looking at the hurricane season.Very interesting.Mmm I might have to add 1974 to my analog years.Sooo if history is repeating it's self this should be an active hurricane seaqson.I also noticed that in that year two storms formed in June.And the U.S was affected.Ah yes very interesting indeed...
And!! the season got off to an early start.Boy this is interesting!!!!!.Yes yes yes!!.I'm gonna look into this more.The U.S was also affected by a major hurricane.It was western Louisiana.The same place that in all the analog years was affeted.Man this is awesome!! information/history I'm getting.Also their were storms that affected the east coast.Another place that's at risk this year.The western/southern section of Florida was affected that year.Which just some happens to be at higher risk this year.1974 has become a close analog.With almost same weather patterns.
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432

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I don't if anyone mentioned, but, 7 more counties have been added for AL individual assistance.

Link
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Severe Weather Alerts

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Faulkner, Lonoke, Pulaski, Saline and White County in AR until 10:15pm CDT. #arwx 6 minutes ago
Tornado Warning for Camp, Cass, Morris, Titus and Upshur County in TX until 9:45pm CDT. #txwx 33 minutes ago
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Faulkner, Garland, Perry, Pulaski and Saline County in AR until 9:30pm CDT. #arwx 52 minutes ago
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Livingston, Lyon, and Marshall County in KY until 9:00pm CDT. #kywx about an hour ago
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Fulton, Izard, Sharp and Stone County in AR until 9:15pm CDT. #arwx about an hour ago
Tornado Warning for Camp, Morris, Titus and Upshur County in TX until 9:15pm CDT. #txwx about an hour ago
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Clay and Greene County in AR until 9:00pm CDT. #arwx about an hour ago
Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Garland, Montgomery, Perry and Saline County in AR until 8:45pm CDT. #arwx about an hour ago
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Quoting TomTaylor:
That super outbreak of 1974 likely had many more than 148 tornadoes in 24 hrs but reporting 40 years ago is nothing like it is today. Simply judging by the amount of F5s vs EF5s from that outbreak to this one, it is likely that had all the tornadoes been reported, this present outbreak would not have surpassed the number of tornadoes in the1974 outbreak.


It's possible there were more tornadoes in the 1974 Super Outbreak that weren't accounted for, all at the lower end of the Fujita-Pearson scale. I compared the category distributions of several high-count outbreaks between 1992 and 2008, and came up with the following averages:

F0/EF0: 41.8%
F1/EF1: 33.5%
F2/EF2: 15.7%
F3/EF3: 7.6%
F4/EF4: 1.2%
F5/EF5: 0.3%

(It's interesting to note that, at least for the limited sampling I chose, there have been about twice as many F2s as F3s, and twice as many F1s as F2s.)

However, the 1974 Super Outbreak distribution looks like this:
F0/EF0: 12.8% (19)
F1/EF1: 22.3% (33)
F2/EF2: 21.6% (32)
F3/EF3: 23.0% (34)
F4/EF4: 16.2% (24)
F5/EF5: 4.1% (6)

If the distribution for the 1974 Super Outbreak is normalized with the average distribution I found, and based on having accurate numbers for only F4s and F5s, it would have produced the following approximate counts:

F0/EF0: 250
F1/EF1: 200
F2/EF2: 100
F3/EF3: 50
F4/EF4: 24
F5/EF5: 6
TOTAL: 630

However--this whole exercise might be moot, and in fact almost certainly is. The Fujita-Pearson scale was based on highly subjective and error-prone damage descriptions, and didn't take into account differences in construction methods, building types, etc. (in fact, one of the reasons the Enhanced Fujita Scale was developed). Because of that, many tornadoes were likely overestimated, with some F2s being called F3s, some F3s being called F4s, and some F4s being called F5s. If that is taken into consideration, this week's outbreak may actually have seen more storms than did the 1974 one. It wouldn't be surprising if the actual counts for the 1974 outbreak were very similar to this week's. I'm sure there were some 10-yard-wide, 25-yard-long F0s uncounted in 1974.

At any rate, at the middle- and high-ends of the scale, there's little reason to think there were any more unreported storms in 1974 than there were this week; an F4 or F5 is hard to miss, especially in the crowded eastern U.S.
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13462
Quoting beell:


Scale differences aside - A bad Day in April, 1974.

A strong (1973) La Nina followed by a weaker one (1974)
Mmmm now that you bring that up very interesting.Ahhhh now I'm looking at the hurricane season.Very interesting.Mmm I might have to add 1974 to my analog years.Sooo if history is repeating it's self this should be an active hurricane seaqson.I also noticed that in that year two storms formed in June.And the U.S was affected.Ah yes very interesting indeed...
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432


Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625
504. beell
Quoting atmoaggie:
7 of them in the same day in the super outbreak that defined "super outbreak"...


Scale differences aside - A bad Day in April, 1974.

A strong (1973) La Nina followed by a weaker one (1974)
Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16256
I have not heard about this place yet

Rainsville death toll climbs to 32

RAINSVILLE, Ala.—A grandmother. A father. An aunt. A granddaughter. A son.

Their families name them one by one and share stories of their lives — at least 32 people snatched away in the storm that left a path of destruction 25 miles long across DeKalb County, Ala.

“It’s worse than Iraq,” said Derek Rosson, a Marine who completed two tours of duty during the war. “You know the people — my grandmother, our neighbors across the street who were like family.”

Rosson gestured across County Road 515 to a barren wasteland swept clean of little more than splinters of wood. Two days ago, the area was filled with a mobile home park and several houses.

“Yesterday, that field had bodies everywhere,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of death and terrible things, but this was the worst.”

Entire article

Link
Member Since: Agosto 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
502. beell


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0673
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0847 PM CDT SAT APR 30 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...CENTRAL AR

CONCERNING...TORNADO WATCH 258...

VALID 010147Z - 010245Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 258 CONTINUES.

RECENT TRENDS PER LIT WSR-88D INDICATED THE STORM OVER GARLAND
COUNTY AR WAS BECOMING SUPERCELLULAR /INFLOW NOTCH AND LOW LEVEL
ROTATION/ AND TRACKING ESE AT 25 KT. 00Z LIT SOUNDING SHOWED THE CAP HAD
WEAKENED SINCE 12Z WITH A RATHER MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER
AS
CURRENT SURFACE OBSERVATIONS ACROSS CENTRAL/SRN AR INDICATED AN
INCREASE IN SURFACE DEWPOINTS TO THE UPPER 60S. THIS IS
CONTRIBUTING TO A MODERATELY UNSTABLE AIR MASS. MEANWHILE...
STRENGTHENING SWLY LLJ TO 40 KT PER LIT WSR-88D VWP DATA IS
RESULTING IN INCREASING LOW LEVEL SHEAR /SFC-1 KM SRH 420 M2 PER
S2/
. THIS COMBINED WITH AFOREMENTIONED THERMODYNAMICS AND OBJECTIVE
ANALYSES SHOWING EFFECTIVE INFLOW IS SURFACE BASED PROVIDES CONCERN
THAT THIS STORM COULD PRODUCE A TORNADO.

OTHER STORMS DEVELOPING AND/OR MOVING INTO CENTRAL AR WILL NEED TO
BE MONITORED FOR SIMILAR TRENDS AND THREAT.

Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16256
501. StAugustineFL
2:11 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Quoting washingtonian115:
I don't need anymore rain in my area.We need a break.


Whereabouts are you?
Member Since: Marzo 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 798
500. atmoaggie
2:09 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Quoting beell:
F5, EF5 US Tornadoes 1950-Present
53 on this list.
SPC/NOAA
7 of them in the same day in the super outbreak that defined "super outbreak"...
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499. StAugustineFL
2:08 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
SE TX rainfall totals trending upwards.
Member Since: Marzo 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 798
498. roadrage150
2:06 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Quoting StAugustineFL:

Arkansas can't catch a break.


Tell me about it. It's pouring here right now. Not like we haven't had 10" of rain over the past week.
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 391
497. washingtonian115
2:05 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Quoting StAugustineFL:
On a side note: 75% of all U.S. EF5s have occurred in towns that ended in "burg". Let that be a lesson... ;-)


And the other 25% end in "ville"

Arkansas can't catch a break.

I don't need anymore rain in my area.We need a break.
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
496. emcf30
2:05 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011


The footage begins with the initial development of a tornado near Scooba, Mississippi. The initial formation of the Tuscaloosa tornado begins at 1:30.
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495. BahaHurican
1:58 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Chick, another storm from what appears to be the same cell produced another ef5 in NW AL....
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494. emcf30
1:54 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Yea clicklit, that was the first one
Member Since: Agosto 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
493. Chicklit
1:52 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Evening, just read this for the first time:

Preliminary Rare EF-5 Tornado in Monroe County, Mississippi
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEMPHIS TN
1150 AM CDT FRI APR 29 2011

...PRELIMINARY RARE EF-5 TORNADO IN MONROE COUNTY MISSISSIPPI...

AFTER A REVIEW OF THE DAMAGE PHOTOS TAKEN DURING THURSDAY/S GROUND SURVEY AND CONSULTATION WITH NATIONAL EXPERTS...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MEMPHIS HAS UPGRADED THE SMITHVILLE TORNADO RATING TO EF-5 DAMAGE. THIS IS THE HIGHEST RATING FOR TORNADO DAMAGE AND THE FIRST EF-5 OR F-5 IN MISSISSIPPI SINCE THE CANDLESTICK PARK TORNADO NEAR JACKSON ON MARCH 3RD 1966.

* COUNTY/COUNTIES: MONROE

* LOCATION/TIME OF EVENT: SMITHVILLE AT 344 PM EDT ON APRIL 27 2011

* BEGINNING POINT: 34.0517, -88.4236

* ENDING POINT: 34.0731, -88.3814

* RATING: EF-5

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 205 MPH

* PATH LENGTH: 2.82 MILES

* MAXIMUM WIDTH: 1/2 MILE

* FATALITIES: 14

* INJURIES: 40

* SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: 18 HOMES DESTROYED...2 BUSINESSES /POST OFFICE AND POLICE STATION/DESTROYED... 8 HOMES WITH MAJOR DAMAGE...7 BUSINESSES WITH MAJOR DAMAGE...44 HOMES WITH MINOR DAMAGE...AND WATER SYSTEM DESTROYED.
MOST TREES EITHER SNAPPED OR TWISTED AND DEBARKED. MOST THE HOMES DESTROYED WERE WELL BUILT...TWO STORIES...LESS THAN TEN YEARS OLD AND BOLTED DOWN TO THEIR FOUNDATIONS.
A 1965 CHEVY PICKUP TRUCK PARKED IN FRONT OF ONE OF THE DESTROYED HOMES HAS NOT BEEN FOUND.
ALL APPLIANCES AND PLUMBING FIXTURES IN THE MOST EXTREME DAMAGE PATH SHREDDED OR MISSING.

$$

OKULSKI/INGRAM



Member Since: Julio 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11178
492. Patrap
1:52 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Fujita-Pearson Scale of Tornado Intensity
F0 - F1 F2 - F3 F4 - F5
Weak Tornado Strong Tornado Violent Tornado


The Fujita-Pearson Scale or The Fujita Scale?
The scale was original created in 1971 by Dr. Fujita as a way of determining the strength of tornadoes from the damage that they caused. Like many of the contributions of Dr. Fujita, it was not widely accepted when first published.

Dr. Fujita and Dr. Pearson two years later published a paper that added in factors related to the width and length of the tornado path, and called the scale the Fujita-Pearson Scale. It was this work that caused the scale to gain acceptance.

The Storm Prediction Center now uses the greatly improved Fujita Scale to determine tornado strength from the damage that the tornado causes after the tornado.

Yet when a spotter or anyone else from the field makes a judgment about the size of a tornado without damage data, but on the width and length of the tornado path, they are making that judgment based on the size of the tornado on the ground, which is the Pearson method.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625
491. StAugustineFL
1:51 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
On a side note: 75% of all U.S. EF5s have occurred in towns that ended in "burg". Let that be a lesson... ;-)

And the other 25% end in "ville"

Arkansas can't catch a break.

Member Since: Marzo 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 798
490. beell
1:49 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Fujita (F) vs Enhanced Fujita (EF) Damage Scale

F vs EF Scale Tabular Comparison

Nice linked details by clicking any of the 28 EF Scale Damage Indicators in the second link above.
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489. emcf30
1:49 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Link

Here are some GOOD before ang after sat. photos. Use the slide bar to see the damage. WOW
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488. emcf30
1:45 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
test
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487. Patrap
1:43 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
486. Patrap
1:41 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Thanx beell,,nice info there.
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485. BahaHurican
1:40 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
BTW, that pronunciation of Cairo sure illustrates the shift in American English at the dialectal level... obviously when this town was formed, enough pple who lived in the area pronounced it Kay-roh [as opposed to Kaiy-roh] for that to become the established name.

Interesting.
Member Since: Octubre 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21516
484. beell
1:39 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
NE TX from Shreveport Radar

Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16256
483. BahaHurican
1:38 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
That makes me wonder how many Missouri and Arkansas reps - at the state and national levels - have actually made contact with their constituents in the midst of this flood / severe event....
Member Since: Octubre 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21516
482. BahaHurican
1:35 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
Whoa, Mr. Tilley... way to show u r not doing your job as a representative!!! This flood plan has been floated for weeks... long enough to go get some court decision about it, if I remember correctly, but you haven't gone down to see your constituents about a plan that's likely to devastate their farming possibilities for the year????? I love the "me first" attitude, plus the "the other guys stink anyhow" attitude at the end....

Member Since: Octubre 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21516
481. beell
1:33 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
F5, EF5 US Tornadoes 1950-Present
53 on this list.
SPC/NOAA
Member Since: Septiembre 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16256
479. Patrap
1:30 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
CIMSS Tropical Cyclones ...A Satellite Perspective
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625
478. Patrap
1:29 AM GMT en Mayo 01, 2011
“In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.”

Dalai Lama
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127625

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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