Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Major Tornado Outbreak Rips Through Southern US; 54+ Dead

A major tornado outbreak has ripped across large parts of the American South, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and that line of storms.

Particularly hard hit is a stretch of Alabama from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham.

This video shows a tornado ripping through Tuscaloosa:

This tornado was reported to have stayed on the ground from Tuscaloosa through Birmingham before continuing its deadly path to the north and east of the city. That's more than 50 miles as the crow flies. It was a massive storm and was estimated to be more than a mile wide at several points.

The storms have killed 37 people, and the death toll is expected to rise overnight as areas are still being hit with tornadoes and severe storms.

The South usually sees lots of tornado activity in the early spring, before the tornado activity moves into what's traditionally known as Tornado Alley. That has to do with the weather patterns that bring in large air masses from different directions and significant temperature differentials. That causes the air to mix violently along the boundary line, creating conditions favorable to tornado development.

The storm front is sliding to the East, which means that the potential for deadly tornadoes is expected to move into Georgia, the Carolinas, and the Middle Atlantic. It's also possible that some severe storms are possible in the NYC metro area, although at the moment the concern in our part is flooding, not tornados or severe wind events.

Much of the Eastern part of the US is blanketed in watches and warnings, and those alerts can be tracked here.

At least 54 people have been killed in the ongoing tornado outbreak.

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