Discussion of April 27, 2011 Outbreak

Discussion in 'General Weather Discussion' started by WesL, Apr 19, 2017 at 3:27 PM.

  1. WesL

    WesL Administrator
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    The most common question I've had since turning TW back on in January is about the April 27, 2011 thread. With over 2000+ posts it is was one of the largest threads on the old site and the information contained within served as a living record for those who are both weather enthusiasts and weather professionals alike. I firmly believe that everyone in the southeast learned some hard lessons that day and the weeks following. From time to time it is good to review those lessons and remember the factors that led up to that tragic day.

    With those thoughts in mind, I am pleased to announce that the April 27, 2011 thread will return to TalkWeather.com. We were very lucky to have a member, @Equus, who archived all the 4/27 posts and was kind enough to send them to me (along with a few other key threads). Starting tomorrow, April 20, the original April 27, 2011 thread will come back to life as it occurred in 2011. Each post will be made at the same time and date of the original thread. @MichelleH was the original poster and her account will be used to make the first post and then our new bot, @TW Archive will take over posting all of the 2000+ posts and 2GB of graphics over the next few days.

    To preserve the thread, replies will be not allowed. However, this thread will serve as place to discuss the outbreak and the days leading up and after. I encourage you to share with your friends that have an interest and jump in the discussion and tell us your story.

    Thanks,
    Jack, Mike, Lori, Matthew and Wes
     
  2. MichelleH

    MichelleH Member

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    God bless you Wes and Equus!!! Thank you so much for saving the April 27th thread!!
     
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  3. apocalyptic_pleasures

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  4. KoD

    KoD Member
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    Yay!! I've read that entire thread a half dozen times
     
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  5. jackiesgeorge

    jackiesgeorge Member
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    Wow thanks I miss reading that thread.
     
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  6. akt1985

    akt1985 Member

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    I have a family member who had a couple of co-workers killed in the Enterprise/Rose Hill, Mississippi tornado. That tornado doesn't get talked about much among the 4/27/11 tornadoes but it was one of the longest tracked tornadoes of the outbreak.
     
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  7. South AL Wx

    South AL Wx Member
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    Thanks! It will be really neat being able to follow the thread as it evolved in real-time in 2011.
     
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  8. _melody_

    _melody_ Member
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    Seeing it there made me all teary. I knew it was coming, but it still caught me off guard because it brought up so many emotional memories. Thank you for adding it. It is really important to remember what happened.
     
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  9. ARCC

    ARCC Member

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    Normally reading the thread again sends a chill through my gut, but watching the replies posted in order and at the same time takes it to another level.

    I never expected what happened, despite knowing it would be really bad. I believe the event from the early morning to the end was unprecedented. My house didn't receive hardly any rain. I do remember the HRRR showing the supercell going close to Hackleburg on several runs the night before.
     
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  10. Mike S

    Mike S Administrator
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    I'm always amazed at the random posts/graphics/models from days leading up to the event that were spot on.
     
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  11. akt1985

    akt1985 Member

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    Even though the meteorologists told the public days in advance this was going to potentially be a historic event, do you think a majority of non-weather geeks across Alabama got the message that this was not going to be a run of the mill severe weather threat?
     
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  12. SilentShadow87

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    I didn't start paying attention to severe weather until late 2014 but I still remember hearing about the outbreak on the news the morning of April 28. If there's such a thing as a perfect storm, this was it. I think it was Greg Forbes who talked about seeing the tornado reports coming in and looking like a fleet of battleships.

    Just the idea of 15 violent tornadoes including 12 long-trackers in one day, plus another five long-tracked EF3 tornadoes for a total of 17 long-trackers, is absolutely terrifying. Never mind the fact that at some points there were as many as four violent tornadoes on the ground at the same time (Hackleburg, Cordova, Smithville, and Flat Rock, and then Bridgeport, Enterprise, Rainsville, and Chilhowee Lake).
     
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  13. Jacob

    Jacob Member

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    Based on my experience of the event...not really. I scared a few friends into believing it, but otherwise not so much. I distinctly remember the head of the Electrical Engineering department at UA (I was in school at Alabama at the time) about noon that day making the comment that "there wasn't anything on radar, looks like nothing is going to happen."
     
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  14. andyhb

    andyhb Member

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    I've recently been using Python to plot data from various archived model runs and reanalysis datasets. Here's the surface-850 mb shear at 21z from this day via the RUC. Just outrageously high values.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. maroonedinhsv

    maroonedinhsv Member

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    Not all meteorologists told the public that it was going to be historic. Brad Huffines is one notable example, and as you follow the thread, you may just get to relive his blunder(s).
     
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  16. Equus

    Equus Member

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    I do regret not re-saving stuff post 2013 or so, as there was a lot of newer discussion in that thread beyond the archive, but of course, the real time stuff is the most poignant and important content in that thread imo. Glad my OCD thread saving and hoarding came in handy for once.

    Six years later and the tornado track maps for 4/26-4/28 STILL look ridiculously fictional. Terrifying day.
     
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  17. Richardjacks

    Richardjacks Member
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    I will never forget telling my producers that we need to lead with weather that Sunday night, for a possible event on Wednesday. I got that look of "you crazy?". The last time I saw them they remarked at how well they remember that conversation and how things were as bad as I told them off air....while I did use some strong wording, I probably didn't go as far as I should on air...but again, it was 3 days away,
     
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  18. akt1985

    akt1985 Member

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    If you can find the special WHNT in Huntsville did 6 months after the outbreak, one of the producers asked one of the meteorologists what she really thought would happen on that day. She said that people would die that day but couldn't say that on air.
     
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  19. Lori

    Lori Administrator
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    Reading this in a real time type of way, really brings those feelings we all had of actual impending doom....there was no doubt to those of us familiar with weather terms and models, it was going to be a deadly and destructive day...
     
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  20. Kim30

    Kim30 Member

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    That early round of storms killed 6 people, knocked out power, cable, and weather radio repeaters. Even cell service was spotty. I can't help but think that played a role in the deaths and injuries that occurred later on. Was that early morning round predicted to be as bad as it was? What about the late morning round that hit N AL? I don't remember the hearing or reading that either before or after.
     
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