NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center logged a total of 241 tornado reports Thursday through Saturday, April 16,2011.
23 on Thursday
113 on Friday
105 on Saturday
According to Dr. Jeff Masters, Ph.D. and Director of Meteorology of Weather Underground, these preliminary tornado reports are typically an over-count of about 15%, so the 3-day tornado outbreak likely will end up with 200 – 210 confirmed tornadoes.
This is a huge number of tornadoes; an average April typically has just 150 tornadoes across the entire U.S.
The carnage began Thursday in Oklahoma, killing an estimated 9 people. As it moved through Arkansas Thursday night, the squall line killed 7 more people. During Friday 3 people lost their lives in Alabama, and many more were injured in Mississippi. Saturday was the most devastating day when 23 people were killed in North Carolina and 3 in Virginia.
The total apparent death toll is up to 45.
During this time of year when severe storm outbreaks and tornadoes are often in the news, I often wonder how many people that live in these high risk regions, have a NOAA weather hazard alert radio. Especially at night, while you sleep, how would you would know if a tornado or severe thunderstorm is eminent in your area. A weather radio alert will wake you up and hopefully provide enough warning time to save yourself.
The only bright side of weather disasters like this is the hope that public awareness will cause some to take precautions, have a plan, and have a means of being warned – in case it’s your turn next time…
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