2011-04-27 MISC: AL,TN,MS,KY,OH,IN,WV,GA

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As others have already said, my thoughts go out to everybody affected by this historic outbreak.

Moving on to a more observant standpoint, I do agree that the storms that swept through in the morning had a significant impact in the death toll of the afternoon storms. Yes, many of these tornadoes were violent and there probably would have been casualties either way, but the first round of high winds/tornadoes undoubtedly complicated the situation. When I was listening to 33/40 during the early afternoon they were reporting that noaa weather radios were down at the time- I don't know if this has been confirmed or not but if it is in fact true then that would be a big factor. Other than that, it is very rare for such a significant mcs to plow through in the morning with time for such extreme destablization/general tornadic ingredients to reassert themselves across the exact same area.
 
Mar 26, 2009
174
13
5
Bismarck, ND
I've still not seen any confirmation that hundreds of dead were reported in just that location... What have you seen?
I actually believe the mayor came out and said that report WAS false. The report was supposed to read hundreds injured. While we are approaching 200+ dead for the whole day, that report was for "hundreds" just in Tuscaloosa. The report was not confirmed at all.
 
Sep 13, 2010
41
0
5
Norman, OK
Wow: "It was the first EF-5 ever recorded in Tuscaloosa, with winds maxing out at 287 mph, and the first in Alabama since 1998."

http://cw.ua.edu/2011/04/27/tornado-devastates-tuscaloosa/
I've read a few reports, like this one, from local media calling it an EF5 tornado. Where did they get this surface data?

Also, am I the only one who hasn't seen any pictures of F5 damage yet? Though I know the media hasn't been let into the hardest hit areas.
 
Jan 15, 2008
38
0
5
I've read a few reports, like this one, from local media calling it an EF5 tornado. Where did they get this surface data?

Also, am I the only one who hasn't seen any pictures of F5 damage yet? Though I know the media hasn't been let in to the hardest hit areas yet.
FOX 6 had some video up earlier from a cellphone camera smuggled beyond the police lines that looked like possible EF5. There were no houses or parts of houses standing in the neighborhood (Concord area, if I remember correctly). No idea how well-built the homes were, however. Surveys will tell for sure, until then its all guesswork.

EDIT: On another, equally sobering note, I'm wondering if we could be looking at the first single tornado to cause 50 fatalities in decades. When was the last time that happened? 1960s?
 

Gabriel Cox

I've read a few reports, like this one, from local media calling it an EF5 tornado. Where did they get this surface data?

Also, am I the only one who hasn't seen any pictures of F5 damage yet? Though I know the media hasn't been let in to the hardest hit areas.
I saw aerial footage of Pleasant Grove neighborhoods (just north of Birmingham) a few minutes ago with multiple bare concrete slabs. Since I dont know the structural integrity of the homes that were destroyed I wont say EF-5, but its at least a strong EF-4.
 
Nov 23, 2005
644
0
5
Colorado Springs
I was kind of shocked at the number of "tornado emergency" type tornado warnings issued yesterday. I know there's some controversy in using the term tornado emergency, but the NWS has obviously adopted the term as official policy. I think it helped save lives because local broadcast media and even TWC used the term and underscored the fact it meant a large violent tornado was in progress and doing damage.
 

jeremy wilson

Also, am I the only one who hasn't seen any pictures of F5 damage yet? Though I know the media hasn't been let into the hardest hit areas.
I think I've seen EF5 damage. Just saw what was supposedly a new, well built brick house that was wiped clean. I'm no expert but I bet theres several EF5's from this outbreak.
 
Sep 13, 2010
41
0
5
Norman, OK
I think I've seen EF5 damage. Just saw what was supposedly a new, well built brick house that was wiped clean. I'm no expert but I bet theres several EF5's from this outbreak.
The Concord to Pleasant Grove area WSW of Birmingham seem to be the hardest hit areas.

I'm not saying there wasn't an EF5, but as of right now nobody knows. I was more commenting on the sensationalist reporting by the media. I actually just heard a Weather Channel broadcaster say that yesterday has overtaken the '74 super outbreak as the new standard of tornado outbreaks. April 3rd, 1974 had 6 F5s and 23 F4s. The only real comparison can be that the death tolls might be similar.
 
Yeah, I too am having a hard time wrapping my head around this event producing 23 distinct F4s (well, EF4s in this case). That's a lot. Several EF5s? Definitely. Several EF4s? Definitely. In order to even come close to verifying the sheer numbers of 4-3-74, 90% of the SPC tornado reports would have to verify as distinct / separate tornadoes.
 

Trey Thee

EF2
Mar 29, 2010
191
29
11
Tulsa metro
http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/2...jeeps-moving-earth-neighborhoods-gone/?hpt=T1

I haven't had a chance to watch these, but I will when I get home tonight. Buddy of mine just sent me this link from CNN with multiple vids.

I would like to know where the 287mph wind speed came from. Some of the damage definitely looks like EF4 and EF5 damage. But 287 mph is incredible. The big one on May 3 1999 was similar and higher in spots and the grass was ripped from the ground, trees completely bare of limbs/leaves and bark. I've not seen anything quite that impressive yet, which makes me question the 287mph wind speed. But I've definitely seen pics that justify the EF5 rating.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

Trey Thee

EF2
Mar 29, 2010
191
29
11
Tulsa metro
From a data standpoint, this is will be the new benchmark for outbreaks. I am certain that's what the weather channel means. The data from '74 is very limited.
From a data standpoint I agree, this will likely be the "best" outbreak in history. Data collection, analysis and benchmarking has come a long way since 1999, muchless 1974. Good news is the data may greatly aid in advanced warning techniques and future storm prediction.
 
Sep 21, 2009
12
0
0
Fort Worth-Arlington,Texas
My friend just informed me that her aunt perished in the Birmingham tornado and lived in the McDonald Chapel area NW of town. She also mentioned that her town of Hartselle is without power,its about 20 miles north of Cullman which was hit by a tornado. She told me she watched a spin up SW of Decatur, AL earlier in the day.very sad
 
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Mar 23, 2009
28
0
1
Peoria, IL
www.TheMMU.com
I actually just heard a Weather Channel broadcaster say that yesterday has overtaken the '74 super outbreak as the new standard of tornado outbreaks.
Yeah, a meteorologist on KFOR in Oklahoma City just said this outbreak is now the worst in US history. He's counting all the tornado reports as individual tornadoes. He also apparently forgot about the like, 300 something that died in the Super Outbreak.
 
Mar 28, 2010
22
0
0
Utah
I'm wondering if we could be looking at the first single tornado to cause 50 fatalities in decades. When was the last time that happened? 1960s?
I think that would be 2/21/71 in Mississippi... F4 killed 58.
 

Drew.Gardonia

well there's other ways this could end up being worse than the 74 Outbreak. 315 died in that, as of now death toll is at 231 and climbing. Tornadoes reported in MS, AL, MO, TN, WV, GA, FL, AR, SC, NC, VA, IN, OH, WV MD per Storm Reports (that's 15 states, whereas the 74 Outbreak only had 13 states) even if the sheer number of tornadoes turns out to not be as many as the 74 Outbreak, still going to be an historic, tragic event. the damage will no doubt be in the billions of dollars, and will probably easily surpass the dollar amount of the 74 Outbreak.

not only that, but this happened in 1 day! 74 outbreak was from April 3 - April 4th.

each outbreak is peculiar in it's own way, and no 2 will ever be alike, but outbreaks can always be compared.

I'll postpone comment on the Fujita Ratings of these storms until the NWS can survey the damage and assign ratings to them.


anyone know if the University of Alabama was hit? I haven't heard anything on it, so just wondering if anyone knew.

edit: i had SC, NC listed twice, so i corrected my post to reflect that.
 
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Dec 25, 2006
618
0
5
Iowa City, Iowa
From a data standpoint I agree, this will likely be the "best" outbreak in history. Data collection, analysis and benchmarking has come a long way since 1999, muchless 1974. Good news is the data may greatly aid in advanced warning techniques and future storm prediction.
True... much better data to be collected here. Though, I wonder what sort of advancements we can really make off of this information.... I can't imagine the handling of this situation being much better. The was recognized from the get go as an extremely volatile and dangerous situation. The watches and the wording pre-storm initiation reflected this. (I've never seen a 95%/95%) Media coverage was giant -- weather channel and local. Storms had huge lead times warning wise.

I feel as though we're nearing a point in meteorology where we can't better most warn times. The greatest gains in human safety are going to be advancements in engineering of homes -- really, great engineering exists, it's just not common enough -- and in actually human observance of severe weather. Basically... people taking note of the information that is at their disposal. This will save more lives than anything.
 

ChristianTerry

well there's other ways this could end up being worse than the 74 Outbreak. 315 died in that, as of now death toll is at 231 and climbing. Tornadoes reported in MS, AL, MO, TN, WV, GA, FL, AR, SC, NC, VA, IN, OH, WV MD, SC, NC per Storm Reports (that's 17 states, whereas the 74 Outbreak only had 13 states) even if the sheer number of tornadoes turns out to not be as many as the 74 Outbreak, still going to be an historic, tragic event. the damage will no doubt be in the billions of dollars, and will probably easily surpass the dollar amount of the 74 Outbreak.

not only that, but this happened in 1 day! 74 outbreak was from April 3 - April 4th.

each outbreak is peculiar in it's own way, and no 2 will ever be alike, but outbreaks can always be compared.

I'll postpone comment on the Fujita Ratings of these storms until the NWS can survey the damage and assign ratings to them.


anyone know if the University of Alabama was hit? I haven't heard anything on it, so just wondering if anyone knew.
I heard the tornado passed just to the North of the University.
 
Jun 16, 2009
173
0
0
El Dorado, Kansas
well there's other ways this could end up being worse than the 74 Outbreak. 315 died in that, as of now death toll is at 231 and climbing. Tornadoes reported in MS, AL, MO, TN, WV, GA, FL, AR, SC, NC, VA, IN, OH, WV MD, SC, NC per Storm Reports (that's 17 states, whereas the 74 Outbreak only had 13 states) even if the sheer number of tornadoes turns out to not be as many as the 74 Outbreak, still going to be an historic, tragic event. the damage will no doubt be in the billions of dollars, and will probably easily surpass the dollar amount of the 74 Outbreak.

not only that, but this happened in 1 day! 74 outbreak was from April 3 - April 4th.

each outbreak is peculiar in it's own way, and no 2 will ever be alike, but outbreaks can always be compared.

I'll postpone comment on the Fujita Ratings of these storms until the NWS can survey the damage and assign ratings to them.


anyone know if the University of Alabama was hit? I haven't heard anything on it, so just wondering if anyone knew.
Yes it happened over two days but the duration for the event was 18 hours. The trough flew across the country.
 
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Sep 21, 2009
12
0
0
Fort Worth-Arlington,Texas
well there's other ways this could end up being worse than the 74 Outbreak. 315 died in that, as of now death toll is at 231 and climbing. Tornadoes reported in MS, AL, MO, TN, WV, GA, FL, AR, SC, NC, VA, IN, OH, WV MD, SC, NC per Storm Reports (that's 17 states, whereas the 74 Outbreak only had 13 states) even if the sheer number of tornadoes turns out to not be as many as the 74 Outbreak, still going to be an historic, tragic event. the damage will no doubt be in the billions of dollars, and will probably easily surpass the dollar amount of the 74 Outbreak.

not only that, but this happened in 1 day! 74 outbreak was from April 3 - April 4th.

each outbreak is peculiar in it's own way, and no 2 will ever be alike, but outbreaks can always be compared.

I'll postpone comment on the Fujita Ratings of these storms until the NWS can survey the damage and assign ratings to them.


anyone know if the University of Alabama was hit? I haven't heard anything on it, so just wondering if anyone knew.
media reports saying that University of Alabama students are among the casualties.
 
Dec 25, 2006
618
0
5
Iowa City, Iowa
well there's other ways this could end up being worse than the 74 Outbreak. 315 died in that, as of now death toll is at 231 and climbing. Tornadoes reported in MS, AL, MO, TN, WV, GA, FL, AR, SC, NC, VA, IN, OH, WV MD, SC, NC per Storm Reports (that's 17 states, whereas the 74 Outbreak only had 13 states) even if the sheer number of tornadoes turns out to not be as many as the 74 Outbreak, still going to be an historic, tragic event. the damage will no doubt be in the billions of dollars, and will probably easily surpass the dollar amount of the 74 Outbreak.

not only that, but this happened in 1 day! 74 outbreak was from April 3 - April 4th.

each outbreak is peculiar in it's own way, and no 2 will ever be alike, but outbreaks can always be compared.

I'll postpone comment on the Fujita Ratings of these storms until the NWS can survey the damage and assign ratings to them.


anyone know if the University of Alabama was hit? I haven't heard anything on it, so just wondering if anyone knew.
This is going to push the super outbreak damned close. I think you're looking at at least a half dozen violent class tornadoes yesterday with death tolls nearing what we saw in the super outbreak. I think the actual count takes a backseat to those two items.

And even then... is an event any less of an event because one long track violent tornado stayed on the ground two hours and thusly generated one report vs a cyclical supercell that keeps dropping violent tornadoes intermittently and generated 10 reports over the same path? A more telling metric might be to tally up total path area of tornadoes on a given outbreak with strength of tornado in any given area figured in. (perhaps a simple multiplier would do EF0 = path area X 1, EF1 = PA x 2, etc...) Though one issue with that calculation may be valuation of area... weak tornadoes with wide paths gaining too much value.