Thank you Michelle! As bad as both 4/3/74 and 4/27/11 were, the 1974 was far more horrifying to me then and today. The 2011 outbreak was very bad.........but 1974 was a different animal. To imagine multiple F4 or F5 tornadoes on the ground at the same time in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, northwest Georgia, and Alabama just boggles the mind. It's a once in 500 year event I doubt any of us ever see again (just like the 1935 Labor Day hurricane......a one in 500 year freak).What a wonderful write-up on this anniversary of the Super Outbreak., Perry. I was only 13 months old when it happened, but the first tornado book I ever read (and still have) when I was in 3rd grade was about the Super Outbreak. That book started my lifelong obsession with tornadoes and the Super Outbreak is still the outbreak I am most fascinated by, even though I lived through April 27, 2011 as an adult. I totally agree with you...however devastating 4/27/11 was, and it indeed was, the Super Outbreak of 1974 was far more horrific and far-reaching.
As would the Lake Martin tornado. Most people forget about it, but that thing was very voilent.A couple of ideas about the comparison. There were many more ultra-long track tornadoes in 2011 than 1974 resulting in a much greater path length for tornadoes in 2011. If the long trackers of 2011 had been broken down into shorter tornadoes, the result would have been many more EF3s and 4s. Take away the long-trackers in Alabama and the one in Indiana and you have a whole bunch of short blips.
Also there wasn't the scrutiny of damage then that there is today. If there had been dozens of people at every site checking for bolts, screws, foundations etc., many of those tornadoes would have been rated at least a level lower if not more. And of course if they just eyeballed it today like they did then, I'm sure Tuscaloosa, Ringgold, probably Shoal Creek, Jackson County, and Bridgeport would have gotten an F5 back in the day while most of the experts seem to agree that Xenia, and a few more were overrated in '74.
All these years and I've never seen this....I was 7 when this happened, I lived in Talladega Co. we took shelter in my brother's closet but I don't think we knew for sure if there were warnings or not, Daddy had a radio he'd listen. I remember we didn't have school the next day...most of us had stayed up all night!!I remember watching this in elementary school.Scared me then and still does.
Yeah, it's purely coincidence, but a strange/interesting one...I seem to recall a graph on the old forum that showed that the greatest number of violent tornadoes touched down on Wednesdays, followed by Fridays, and I believe Mondays in third place, with over 60% of all violent tornadoes touching down on those three days.I've seen strong and destructive tornadoes occur on every day of the week. The fact April 3, 1974 and April 27, 2011 both happened on a Wednesday was sheer coincidence........
I guess when all is said and done there is going to be a day with a higher frequency than any other day, but it does seem odd that a particular day actually seems to stand out.Yeah, it's purely coincidence, but a strange/interesting one...I seem to recall a graph on the old forum that showed that the greatest number of violent tornadoes touched down on Wednesdays, followed by Fridays, and I believe Mondays in third place, with over 60% of all violent tornadoes touching down on those three days.