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April Tornadoes – Final Stats

| 2:04 pm August 26, 2011 | Comments (12)

Many of us are still reeling from the generational tornado outbreak of April 27. Take some time to read the final report from the NWS released this afternoon. Thanks to our friends at the Birmingham office for their long hours of work in putting this together.

NOUS44 KBMX 261901
PNSBMX
ALZ011>015-017>050-270100-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
200 PM CDT FRI AUG 26 2011

…DATA FINALIZED FOR THE APRIL 2011 HISTORIC TORNADO OUTBREAKS…

THE MONTH OF APRIL 2011 BROUGHT WITH IT AN UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNT OF
SEVERE WEATHER. BESIDES MULTIPLE DAYS WITH DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE
WIND EVENTS, THERE WERE TWO DAYS WHICH USHERED IN A RECORD NUMBER OF
TORNADOES WHICH INCLUDED SEVERAL VIOLENT TORNADOES.

AS PART OF A SYSTEM WHICH WREAKED HAVOC ON THE EASTERN HALF OF THE
UNITED STATES FROM APRIL 14TH TO APRIL 16TH, WIDESPREAD SUPERCELLS
BROUGHT A RECORD NUMBER OF TORNADOES TO ALABAMA ON APRIL 15TH. ON
THIS DAY ALONE, ALABAMA EXPERIENCED 45 TORNADOES, ALL OF WHICH WERE
EF-3 OR WEAKER.

A LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK LATER, FROM APRIL 25TH TO APRIL 28TH, MUCH
OF THE EASTERN HALF OF THE UNITED STATES EXPERIENCED ONE OF THE MOST
EXTENSIVE TORNADO OUTBREAKS THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER SEEN. CENTRAL
ALABAMA TOOK THE BRUNT OF ITS DAMAGE ON APRIL 27TH. FIRST, A QUASI-
LINEAR CONVECTIVE SYSTEM MOVED THROUGH DURING THE EARLY MORNING
HOURS, FOLLOWED BY THE OUTBREAK OF VIOLENT TORNADIC SUPERCELLS IN
THE AFTERNOON. THE MORNING ACTIVITY PRODUCED WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE
AND SEVERAL TORNADOES. THE AFTERNOON ACTIVITY PRODUCED THE MAJORITY
OF THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE. ON THIS DAY, ALABAMA EXPERIENCED
62 TORNADOES.

A THOROUGH STUDY OF EACH TORNADO PATH HAS BEEN CONDUCTED. SEVERAL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES, STATE AND COUNTY EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS, AND SEVERAL NATIONAL INVESTIGATORS COORDINATED
AND ANALYZED THESE DATA SETS. THIS STATEMENT WILL SERVE AS THE FINAL
INFORMATIONAL STATEMENT ABOUT THESE TWO HISTORIC EVENTS. HERE ARE
SOME STATISTICS FROM THOSE TWO DAYS:

…CENTRAL ALABAMA STATISTICS FROM THOSE TWO FATEFUL DAYS…

TORNADOES ARE OFFICIALLY RANKED BY THE MOST INTENSE STRENGTH ALONG
THE ENTIRE PATH. FOR EXAMPLE, THE SMITHVILLE, MS, TORNADO ON
APRIL 27TH WAS RANKED AS AN EF-5. EVEN THOUGH THE TORNADO ONLY
REACHED EF-3 STRENGTH IN CENTRAL ALABAMA, FOR THE RECORD, THE WHOLE
TORNADO IS RANKED EF-5. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE TORNADO
STRENGTH IN ALABAMA ONLY, IT WOULD BE AN EF-3. THERE WERE SEVERAL
SUCH TORNADO INCIDENTS DURING THESE EVENTS.

ON APRIL 15TH AND APRIL 27TH, THERE WERE 29 TORNADOES EACH DAY IN
CENTRAL ALABAMA.

THE ACTUAL TORNADO STRENGTH BREAKDOWN IN CENTRAL ALABAMA FOR
APRIL 15TH LOOKS LIKE THIS:

EF-5: 0
EF-4: 0
EF-3: 4
EF-2: 10
EF-1: 10
EF-0: 5

THE ACTUAL TORNADO STRENGTH BREAKDOWN IN CENTRAL ALABAMA FOR
APRIL 27TH LOOKS LIKE THIS:

EF-5: 1
EF-4: 4
EF-3: 8
EF-2: 5
EF-1: 10
EF-0: 1

THERE WERE A TOTAL OF 4 DEATHS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TORNADOES IN
CENTRAL ALABAMA ON APRIL 15TH.

THERE WERE A TOTAL OF 139 DEATHS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TORNADOES
IN CENTRAL ALABAMA ON APRIL 27TH.

OF THOSE 139 DEATHS ON APRIL 27TH, 86 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN
PERMANENT STRUCTURES, SUCH AS A HOME, FACTORY OR CHURCH. 46 WERE
KILLED WHILE IN MANUFACTURED HOMES. 2 FATALITIES OCCURRED WHILE
PEOPLE WERE STILL IN THEIR VEHICLES AND 2 OTHERS WHILE OUTDOORS.
THESE NUMBERS ARE COURTESY OF FEMA, LOCAL EMA AND THE RED CROSS.

…STATEWIDE STATISTICS FOR THOSE TWO FATEFUL DAYS…

ON APRIL 15TH, THE STATE OF ALABAMA SET A RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF
TORNADOES ON ONE CALENDAR DAY WITH 45. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET
ON THE VETERANS DAY OUTBREAK OF NOVEMBER 24, 2001 WHEN 36 TWISTERS
TOUCHED DOWN.

TWELVE DAYS LATER, ON APRIL 27TH, THE RECORD SET ON APRIL 15TH WAS
BROKEN WHEN 62 TORNADOES TORE ACROSS THE STATE.

THERE WERE 7 DEATHS IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA ON APRIL 15TH.

SINCE 1874, ALABAMA HAD ONLY EXPERIENCED 6 EF-5 TORNADOES. ON APRIL
27TH ALONE, 3 OCCURRED.

SINCE 1874, ALABAMA HAD EXPERIENCED 64 EF-4 TORNADOES. ON APRIL 27TH
ALONE, 8 OCCURRED.

THE 129-MILE LONG CORDOVA EF-4 TORNADO RANKS SECOND LONGEST IN
ALABAMA RECORDED HISTORY TO THE GUIN EF-5 IN APRIL 1974 (135 MILES).

APRIL 27TH SAW 5 OF THE 10 LONGEST TORNADO TRACKS IN RECORDED
HISTORY.

THERE WERE 247 DEATHS IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA ON APRIL 27TH. THIS
RANKS AS THE SECOND DEADLIEST DAY IN ALABAMA BEHIND THE MARCH 1932
OUTBREAK WHEN 270 DIED.

…ADDITIONAL INFORMATION…

FOR MORE SPECIFIC AND DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT EACH TORNADO PATH,
PLEASE VISIT THE WEB SITES OF EACH NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE
THAT WAS AFFECTED:

NWS BIRMINGHAM
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX/?N=EVENT_04272011 (ALL LOWER CASE)

NWS JACKSON
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/JAN/?N=2011_04_25_27_SVR (ALL LOWER CASE)

NWS HUNTSVILLE
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/HUN/?N=HUNSUR_2011-04-27_MAIN (ALL LOWER CASE)

NWS MOBILE
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/MOB/?N=20110427_TOR (ALL LOWER CASE)

NWS PEACHTREE CITY
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/FFC/?N=20110427_SVRSTORMS (ALL LOWER CASE)

FOR ADDITIONAL INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT;
WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST JOHN DE BLOCK AT 205-664-3010, OR
METEOROLOGIST IN CHARGE JIM STEFKOVICH AT 205-585-8635.

A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE MANY COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS,
THE ALABAMA STATE EMA, THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, THE
ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD, LOCAL POLICE OFFICIALS, THE ALABAMA STATE
TROOPERS AND LOCAL FIRE OFFICIALS FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE WITH THE
NUMEROUS STORM SURVEYS.

A MAJOR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUCCESS OF OUR SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
PROGRAM IS THE RECEIPT OF STORM REPORTS FROM ALL OUR CUSTOMERS AND
PARTNERS ACROSS CENTRAL ALABAMA. IF YOU WITNESSED OR ARE AWARE OF
ANY STORM DAMAGE DUE TO HIGH WINDS OR TORNADOES, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR
LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE OR CALL OUR STORM REPORTING
HOTLINE AT 1-800-856-0758.

Comments

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Category: Severe Weather

Comments (12)

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  1. wally says:

    A good report, I’m now trying to relieve the strain from reading ALL CAPITAL letters.

    Looks to me, the National Weather Service would get with the times and “QUIT SHOUTING” at us all.

  2. VJ Davis says:

    I am confused. The bulletin gives the following table:
    THE ACTUAL TORNADO STRENGTH BREAKDOWN IN CENTRAL ALABAMA FOR APRIL 27TH LOOKS LIKE THIS:

    EF-5: 1
    EF-4: 4
    EF-3: 8
    EF-2: 5
    EF-1: 10
    EF-0: 1

    But below it states:

    SINCE 1874, ALABAMA HAD ONLY EXPERIENCED 6 EF-5 TORNADOES. ON APRIL 27TH ALONE, 3 OCCURRED.

    SINCE 1874, ALABAMA HAD EXPERIENCED 64 EF-4 TORNADOES. ON APRIL 27TH ALONE, 8 OCCURRED.

    These statements do not tie to the table. Which is corret? Were there 3 EF-5′s or 1 EF-5? Is one based on individual touchdowns and the other on storm track history?

    Also, in the upper part it states that there were 62 tornadoes on the 27th but only 29 are on the chart.

    If someone who is familiar with the statistical output here would explain, I would appreciate it! Probably a simple explanation.

  3. Greg says:

    The statement about the time since 1874 is in the statewide section. The chart you refer to is for Central AL covered by the local NWS.

  4. Brandom says:

    There were 3 EF-5s in the state of Alabama on April 27. Of those 3, 1 took place in central Alabama. And which one was the EF-5? I thought there were only two EF-5s in Alabama on April 27, both of which in the northern part of the state. Where was the third?

  5. VJ Davis says:

    Thanks! I knew I had to be missing something simple!

  6. Dana says:

    @VJ – there was a tornado in DeKalb Co (outside of the B’ham warning area, in the HSV warning area) that was EF5, and the Smithville, MS tornado was an EF5 in Mississippi and crossed over into AL…the maximum intensity of the same tornado was only EF3 in Alabama, but the tornado is called an EF5 (explained at the beginning of the message).

    @wally – all caps makes it easier to disseminate through automated reporting agencies…although there WAS a movement last year to go to proper capitalization: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/notification/pns10mixed_case.doc

  7. VJ Davis says:

    All those CAPS make it hard for me to follow. At least, that’s what I’m blaming it on. Didn’t even notice the section headers until you pointed them out!

  8. brianlacy says:

    Not sure how NWS designated South, Central and North Alabama, but my guess is only one EF-5 was in Central Alabama on 4/27. The other two were in North Alabama.

  9. Tess Jordan says:

    I am still in shock! In March 1932. There were 270 deaths in a tornado outbreak… Fast forward to April 2011, Even with all our early warnings & technology that didn’t exist back in 1932, we still had 247 deaths! Can you imagine how many more of our family & friends would be “gone with the wind” if technology had not come so far? And still, there were almost twice as many deaths in PERMANENT structures than there were in mobile homes! Praise God for allowing us to use technology to keep us safe! And thank God we have such excellent “weather geeks” to help!

    I am left wondering, have all the missing people been found? How many are still missing? Were any of the missing people included in the dead count or is the list of dead for ONLY those whose bodies have been found?

  10. Kam says:

    I didn’t know there were 3 EF4′s….wow. That was a heck of a day to be sure.

  11. Beverly says:

    Well, I am very amazed that straight line winds can blow entire stories of well-built houses and also blow well-built houses off their foundations – leaving basements exposed. That’s what we got in Moody in the early morning storm.

  12. Melster says:

    Well–I’m back to thinking we, in Marion Co. were living back in 1932 because we had NO TV, radio, internet, weather radio or other modern technology to help us on that fateful day of 4/27/11. Makes me wonder how many lives could have been saved by modern technology–if it had worked properly??!!

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