From Thursday, April 14, 2011 to Saturday, April, 16, 2011, devastating tornadoes rampaged across communities of the southern United States. Cities and towns from Oklahoma to North Carolina were assaulted by the deadly twisters. The tornado outbreak led to a total of 241 tornado reports in 14 states over the three-day period. This will likely rank this tornado outbreak among the largest in history. Three ingredients were in place to allow this violent tornado outbreak to occur from the southern Plains to the Southeast: a powerful jet stream, abundant moisture and a strong cold front. A powerful jet stream helped to enhance the thunderstorm growth, while moisture surging in from the Gulf of Mexico acted as fuel for the thunderstorms.
The first factor is that the water in Gulf of Mexico is warmer than last year. This means that there is very warm, moist air in supply for storm systems to tap into and provide fuel for severe weather. The second is that we are in one of the strongest La Nina patterns in recorded history. "The strong La Nina pattern means that tremendous contrasts in air masses, with cool and dry air to the north and warm and steamy air to the south, are occurring over the Mississippi Valley. This puts many highly populated areas in the path of dangerous severe weather," said AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity. This mid-April 2011 tornado outbreak is likely to rank among the largest tornado outbreaks in history with 241 tornado reports. "There has not been a tornado outbreak in history over three days with this many tornadoes spawned by a single storm system," according to Margusity. The notorious 1974 tornado outbreak, which occurred on April 3-4, 1974, produced 148 tornadoes over the course of two days and is thought of as one of the largest and deadliest tornado outbreak in history from one storm system. -Accuweather
Book excerpt reference: The mechanics of storm systems is evolving as a consequence of climate change. We are beginning to see more massive cluster outbreaks of very destructive tornadoes erupting across the U.S. -The Extinction Protocol, page 186
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