Looking Back at One of the Most Active Severe Weather Months
in Central Alabama History

April of 2011 will live in the memory of central Alabamians forever.  Two major tornado outbreaks.  Three different days with tornadoes.  Three significant straight line wind events.  Over 2000 people injured.  142 killed.  Billions of dollars in damage.  The NWS in Birmingham is taking a look back at that incredible month, starting with the two major tornado outbreaks:

 
To tell the story of April 27th, one has to recognize that there were two distinct waves of widespread severe weather for Central Alabama. The first moved through during the early morning hours across northern portions of Central Alabama in the form of a Quasi-Linear Covective System (QLCS). This intense line of thunderstorms produced not only widespread damaging straight line winds in the areas of Moody, Pell City and Riverside, but numerous strong tornadoes. Loop of Morning of April 27th, 2011 
Storm Reports from April 27th The second wave, which began with the Hackleburg EF-5 tornado, involved numerous supercell thunderstorms which produced deadly long-lived, strong to violent tornadoes across the northern two-thirds of Central Alabama. Widespread and catastrophic damage was sustained in several locations.  In all on April 27th, central Alabama saw 29 tornadoes, including 4 EF-4s and the EF-5 in Hackleburg.
April 15th was no slouch, itself. April 27th may have broken records, but it broke the records of April 15th, just 12 days prior. 29 tornadoes touched down on the 15th, including 4 EF-3s, 10 EF-2s and 10 EF-1s. The Storm Prediction Center issued the first Tornado Watch for Central Alabama prior to 8 am and supercell development began just after 11 am across central Mississippi. These storms crept across Mississippi and dropped multiple damaging tornadoes. The first tornado warning in Central Alabama was issued at 1152 am in Marengo County and warnings were issued until 1215 am the next morning.
Tree Damage from April 15th 
Damage from April 11th

Outside of the two major outbreak days, we ended up with 3 different days of significant straight line wind event, one of which produced a tornado. Take a look at those days:

In all, residents of central Alabama witnessed 59 tornadoes in April of 2011. When you consider there were 78 total in the year of 2011, the 59 tornadoes in April were 76% of the tornado activity for the year.  Here's hoping for a quiet April 2012!


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