April 2011 vs April 2018: From A Super Tornado Outbreak To A Record Nothing For Oklahoma!

Written by on May 8, 2018 in United States of America with 0 Comments

No two springs are ever the same, especially on the Plains with one year too wet, another too dry, too hot and this year, too dry and cool. As your probably well aware, the great plains is home to some of the most dramatic, diverse and extreme weather on the planet.

Geography and position within the mid latitudes with an open door to both arctic and tropics make this the home to the most tornadic region on earth.

However the type of spring pattern determines what kind of severe weather season you get. No matter what way you look at it, you expect to see tornadoes at this volatile time of year when winter gives way to summer.

Just 7 years ago between April 25-28, 2011, the Southern, Midwestern and Eastern US was struck by the largest, most costly and one of the deadliest ‘super tornado outbreaks’ in US history. As many as 360 tornadoes were confirmed killing a total of 248 people and costing $12.6 billion in damage/lose.

English: April 27 and April 28, 2011, brought the deadliest tornado outbreak in the United States since 1974. By dawn on April 28, at least 250 people had been killed in 6 states. Alabama was the hardest hit state, with 162 confirmed dead as of Thursday morning. This image shows the storms at 1:45 p.m. U.S. Central Daylight Time, and the animation shows the development of the weather system that spurred the widespread deadly tornadoes. The images are from the GOES satellite.

An incredible four top ranked EF5 tornadoes touched down on April 27th alone with the strongest packing 210 mph winds.

In the late April 2011 outbreak, all ingredients met perfectly to create an explosive and highly destructive atmosphere as warm, cold, wet and dry came together.

Essentially drought and cooler-than-normal conditions killed tornado production on the Southern/Central Plains through April 30.

It’s been a close call mind you.

We’re now entering the heart of the severe weather season and while there have now been tornadoes in both Oklahoma and Kansas, up until May 1, there’s been nothing. That’s a new record for OK and only 3rd occurrence for Kansas.

Credit: weather.com

The latest first tornado for Oklahoma was April 26, 1962 and only 1987 and 88 are the two years where Oklahoma didn’t report an April tornado before 2018.

Interestingly, almost all of Oklahoma is within the area of highest risk of a tornado during April.

Credit: weather.com

As of April 26, only 229 tornadoes nation-wide have been reported compared to the average of 400.

A poignant reminder of what this region can get at this time of year.

Unfortunately some of the slowest starts have went on to produce some of the biggest and destructive tornadoes.


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