Tornado outbreak is possibly the deadliest in 37 years
The nation's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., reports that tornadoes this year have already claimed more lives than all of last year, possibly making this the deadliest tornado outbreak since the 1974.
Killer tornadoes during the first four months of this year have already claimed more lives than all of last year, possibly making this the deadliest tornado outbreak since the Super Outbreak of 1974, according to the nation's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Alabama tornadoes
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The death toll had surpassed last year’s before deadly storms pounded the South last night (April 27), devastating Tuscaloosa, Ala. Earlier this week, a one-two tornado punch in Arkansas pushed this year's death toll to 51, topping the 45 killed last year.
"Never, in 32 years forecasting, have I seen as many violent tornadoes indicated on radar at one time as I did today," wrote Alabama meteorologist Dan Satterfield on his American Geophysical Union blog.
Southern tornadoes are so deadly because they are hard to see, such as last night's reported nighttime tornadoes in North Georgia and the rain-cloaked tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala. Mobile homes, which are easily flipped or crushed, are common in the region, potentially adding to the high death toll. [In Images: The Tornado Damage Scale]
Last night's outbreak will likely be deadliest since the 1974 "Super Outbreak" that killed 330 people on April 3 and 4 of that year. Violent storms have reportedly killed 123 in Alabama, and dozens more in Georgia and Mississippi, CNN reported. Storm survey teams will confirm if those people were killed by tornadoes.