Weather Gadgets

April 18, 2011

Historic Tornado Outbreak in Southern US -- AccuWeather.com Explains

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More than 243 tornadoes have caused extensive human and property damage from Oklahoma to Virginia since last Thursday April 14. North Carolina received the brunt of destruction enduring as many as 60 tornadoes -- the state's worst outbreak in more than 25 years.

A major reason for the scope of destruction is that heavily populated areas were in the path of the storms. Meteorologist Meghan Evans explains what happened over at AccuWeather.com. Essentially, three weather conditions combined to create this violent tornado outbreak ranging from the southern Plains into the Southeast: 1) a powerful jet stream, 2) abundant moisture and 3) a strong cold front.

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Meghan continues:

There are a couple of factors that are making this year a more active severe weather year compared to normal and compared to last year.

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.

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