Friday, April 29, 2011

Historic Tornado Outbreak for All the Wrong Reasons

As we feared would be the case, the tornado outbreak of this past Wednesday has now become historic.  As of this writing, 318 people are currently reported as dead as a result of the outbreak.

By crossing the 315 mark, this event has now become more deadly than the "Super Outbreak" of April, 1974.  The only bit of good news here is that an "all time" record for tornado deaths in a single day has not been touched.  It remains at 747, from the events way back in March 18, 1925.

Many have been questioning whether or not this recent event would surpass the 1974 Super Outbreak in other ways as well, particularly with respect to tornado count and/or "path miles" (which refers to the total path length, in miles, carved out by the tornadoes during a given event).

Map of Tornadoes Associated with the 1974 "Superoutbreak"

The "Super Outbreak" of '74 (see tornado track map above) is called "Super" for many reasons:

-315 people killed
-148 individual tornadoes across 13 states
-total damage path length of 2,600 miles 
-over 900 square miles of property damaged "extensively"

So far, the outbreak of this past Wednesday, 4-27-11 (see preliminary tornado track map below), has surpassed the 1974 "Super Outbreak" in only one (but certainly the most important / tragic) category:  the death toll.

Storm surveys and damage assessments are still underway.  It remains to be seen if any of the other categories that made the 1974 outbreak "Super", will be surpassed by the events of this past week.  Stay tuned for updates...

1 comment:

Shamrock said...

Ron they have determined as of right now that we were hit by an EF2 with maximum winds of 120mph. They say it had a 12 mile path and was 250 yards wide...