April 29, 2011

Tornados Devestate the South: Set All Time Records

Luke 21:25-26: And there will be signs... upon the earth and distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring of the tossing of the sea. 26Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.

Tornadoes Set Record: Most Tornadoes ever in the month of April in USA:

April 2011 has been a horrific month for severe weather so far with more than 900 reports of tornadoes, hundreds of tornado-related deaths and unthinkable destruction.

As the wild weather pattern continues this week, the month's total number of tornadoes continues to rise. There is a good chance that April 2011 will end up being the most active April on record for tornadoes.

With May and June typically being the most active months of the year for severe weather, people are wondering if the trend will continue and make 2011 a record-setting year.

Stats for April

The total number of tornado reports this month was up to 921 as of Friday morning.

It's important to note that these are the number of reports (or sightings), not confirmed tornadoes. Oftentimes multiple sightings of the same tornado are reported, and it will take quite some time until all the data is sorted through and the number of confirmed tornadoes is determined.

According to the SPC, the highest number of confirmed tornadoes recorded in the month of April (since 1950) was 267 in 1974.

If all of the tornado reports so far this month were confirmed, April 2011 would by far be the most active April for tornadoes. Even though the number of confirmed tornadoes will probably end up being quite a bit smaller, this month is still likely to beat the record.


-- AP/Concord, Ala.: “At least 297 have been killed across six states. At least 210 died in Alabama alone. Those who took shelter as the storms descended trickled back to their homes, ducking police roadblocks and fallen limbs and power lines to reclaim belongings. They are also frustrated by gawkers who drive by in search of a cellphone camera picture. … Those who escaped the twisters … hid in bathrooms, cramped closets, under porches and even in a car entombed by a collapsing basement garage. Many tell tales of having just minutes or mere seconds to make life-and-death decisions.”

--N.Y. Times, 4-col. lead, 1 line, italic: “After Storms Kill Hundreds, South Tries to Regroup” … Chicago Tribune, “Tornado nightmare staggers Deep South” … USA Today, “Greatest loss of life from single day of tornadoes in USA since 1974.”

--Paragraph du jour -- AP: “The death toll … seems out of a bygone era, before Doppler radar and pinpoint satellite forecasts were around to warn communities of severe weather. Residents were told the tornadoes were coming up to 24 minutes ahead of time, but they were just too wide, too powerful and too locked onto populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count.”

Largest Death Toll since 1925:

It was the largest death toll since March 18, 1925, when 747 people were killed in storms that raged through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. That was long before the days when Doppler radar could warn communities of severe weather. Forecasters have said residents were told these tornadoes were coming. But they were just too wide and powerful and in populated areas to avoid the horrifying body count.

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