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    Entire Month's Worth of Tornadoes Strike in One Day

    In what may be the biggest daily tornado outbreak on record for March, an entire month's worth of twisters struck in a single day.

    The nation's Storm Prediction Center received 81 reports of tornadoes yesterday (March 2), according to data filtered to remove duplicate reports of tornadoes. For the entire month of March, the 10-year average number of tornadoes is 87, according to the Weather Channel's severe weather expert Greg Forbes.The National Weather Service's storm survey teams have not yet confirmed the tornado reports, so these numbers could change. But if the numbers hold, the outbreak could go down as the largest single-day outbreak in March history.

    But today, the focus is on recovery efforts, said Craig Fugate, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Figuring out where this outbreak ranks among other huge outbreaks will wait for another day.

    At least 33 people died during yesterday's severe weather, according to news reports. In Kentucky, at least 17 people died. A suspected EF-4 twister, the second highest strength on the tornado damage scale, hit Indiana, where at least 14 died.

    The overnight outbreak came just after other storms had raked the Midwest earlier in the week. A deadly tornado outbreak on Leap Day roared through Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. The severestorms killed at least 12 people and included an EF-4 twister in Harrisburg, Ill., a rarity for February.Many areas hit earlier in the week, such as West Liberty, Ky., saw round two yesterday. Some other areas, including Huntsville, Ala., were also hit nearly 10 months ago during the April 27 outbreak, the largest tornado outbreak in recorded history (tornado recordkeeping began in 1950).

    In 2006, the biggest March outbreak saw 105 tornadoes from March 9 to 13. March 12 of that outbreak saw 62 confirmed tornadoes. Yesterday's outbreak could top that total.

    While the main tornado season runs from spring to early summer, this year's early outbreaks show that tornadoes can form under a variety of conditions and strike during fall and winter, too. This year's mild winter and warm start to meteorological spring has upped the risk of dangerous storms.

    Also behind this week's twisters is a low-dipping jet stream, which is bringing cold air from Canada to mix with the warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. Where these two differing air masses meet is often an area of severe weather, hail, winds and even tornadoes.

    The outbreak is not finished. Already today one tornado has been reported in southwest Georgia as severe weather continues to move across south Georgia and north Florida, including parts of the panhandle. 

    You can follow OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel on Twitter: @btisrael. Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter @OAPlanet and on Facebook.



    • Nobody Special  •  2 days 2 hrs ago
      Welcome to Earth. Be cautious. The weather can be hazardous and the inhabitants are insane.
    • dave  •  Fort Wayne, Indiana  •  1 day 11 hrs ago
      could we possibly look at the science not religion or politics. we shouldn't neglect either one but neither religion or politics will come up with solutions to any problems. if anything those two subjects cause more problems.
    • Marcus  •  Charlotte, North Carolina  •  2 days 0 hrs ago
      And who said that climate change isn't real????
    • Alicia  •  Indianapolis, Indiana  •  1 day 13 hrs ago
      Well after reading the comments I am convinced at least half of you should have to wear a helmet to leave the house.
    • Mr.Dobbolina  •  Bremerton, Washington  •  2 days 6 hrs ago
      Freaky weather is becoming more FREAKQUENT!
    • Observe 1  •  1 day 13 hrs ago
      Those who don`t believe in climate change need a reality check
    • Mr K I A  •  1 day 14 hrs ago
      Overwhelming evidence as predicted by climate models for over 20 years. But, why listen to science, when we can bury our heads up Rush's prodigious patooti?
    • oblivion  •  1 day 9 hrs ago
      forget politics and religion, how about some new building codes? Why do houses all look the same when the environments they protect us from are so different.
    • moe  •  Russellville, Arkansas  •  1 day 19 hrs ago
      And we are just in the start of the season so what more is coming to get us
    • Carroll  •  Tacoma, Washington  •  2 days 5 hrs ago
      The raw count doesn't describe the situation. It's one phenomenon causing many vortices. Still, the human impact is staggering.
    • Woblybil  •  1 day 11 hrs ago
      Sheesh, I was going to say something but it looks like all the dumb comments have already been made..... ^..^
    • Jim M  •  Killeen, Texas  •  2 days 4 hrs ago
      Did somebody forget to tell Mother Nature or God that these things are supposed to be rationed out over the course of a month and not all in one day. Maybe they did not get the memo.
    • Bob  •  2 days 5 hrs ago
      that's climate change
    • William  •  Livonia, Michigan  •  1 day 21 hrs ago
      Just once I would like to read some intelligent comments from people on one of these Yahoo articles. I am so sick of every story being turned into a political or religious statement.
    • Nelson  •  2 days 5 hrs ago
      WE have been warned that things will get worse, when,where and how or to what extent we dont know.
    • Gustavo  •  San Diego, California  •  11 hrs ago
      SCARY! My prayers and thoughts are with those folks in the mid-west.
    • yoodge  •  12 hrs ago
      and god played SimCity!
    • Well Now  •  1 day 18 hrs ago
      This is exactly what Republican politicians wanted to happen, you voted this in. Congratulations.
    • Gary Langdon  •  Pineville, Louisiana  •  1 day 20 hrs ago
      People lost their lives. Not a lot said about that. I guess if it were animals a lot of regrets would be expressed.
    • Blue  •  New Orleans, Louisiana  •  21 hrs ago
      Just goes to show that a basement is much more useful than an attic.
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