Discussion of April 27, 2011 Outbreak (2 Viewers)


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345
Location
Lenexa, KS
Just about any given time having 2-4 EF3+ tornadoes down simultaneously all evening was such a nightmare for broadcasters. At least with 4/8/98 or 11/16/00 etc there was one obvious thing to focus on, but having people dying simultaneously in multiple counties in contemporaneous strong/violent tornadoes is something I hope never ever happens again
Even this recent Easter outbreak to think that 9 EF3's and 1 EF4 touched down after dark well into the wee hours of the morning is unthinkable. Still only a shadow in comparison to the 4/27/2011 Super Tornado Outbreak.
 

Brice

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182
Location
Virginia
Just about any given time having 2-4 EF3+ tornadoes down simultaneously all evening was such a nightmare for broadcasters. At least with 4/8/98 or 11/16/00 etc there was one obvious thing to focus on, but having people dying simultaneously in multiple counties in contemporaneous strong/violent tornadoes is something I hope never ever happens again


I hope we don't see this ever again, yeah we will see EF5's but, we won't see 4 EF5's in one day (hopefully) again.
 

MichelleH

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381
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Hanceville, AL
I hope we don't see this ever again, yeah we will see EF5's but, we won't see 4 EF5's in one day (hopefully) again.
I hope not either, but this does happen in Alabama about every 30-40 years. (4/27/11, 4/3/74, 3/21/32) Of course, that's just the average. It could happen again next year, we don't know. There's no way to stop tornadoes from happening, but we can try to improve the warning process and inform the public of the severity of the situation. That's all we can do.

Odd side note: My late grandmother actually lived through all three of the outbreaks mentioned above. She was only two during the 1932 outbreak, but she did technically live through it. In '32, the tornado came close to their house (I think it was still a funnel cloud at that point) and warped the house as it moved on from Good Hope to West Cullman where it touched down. In '74, my family remembers hearing one go over the house that night because they were just everywhere. (I was one.) In 2011, we heard a tornado as it went over our houses. At my house, there was damage behind us and in front of us, but somehow it skipped us.
 
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warneagle

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Arlington, VA
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The pictures of the Hackleburg tornado where it just obscures most of the horizon is how I've always imagined the Tri-State Tornado must have looked. I guess it's probably the closest thing to it in most of our lifetimes in terms of how long it was on the ground doing extreme damage.
 

Austin Dawg

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143
Location
Austin Texas
I remember seeing a photo somewhere of the Smithville tornado as it was moving through town, and the clay it was scouring up from the ground turned the funnel blood red. I'm not very superstitious, but that photo would have been taken right as a lot of people were losing their lives. Coincidence? Yeah, but it's chilling anyway, and reminds me of the "Dead Man Walking" photo of the Jarrell, TX tornado.

I can't seem to find the original photo anymore, but there is a low-contrast version of it here (the red tint is still very slightly visible):
View attachment 1600


I wish I knew where that was taken exactly. The town had changed a bunch, and now is not a shadow of what it was.

One thing this photo does show is that the track just missed the more populated part of town. The track was through the extreme western part of the town which is bordered by the Tenn/Tom Waterway. If the track had shifted east by a mile, there would have been a larger loss of life... Even more, if it happens a couple of hours later in the day. Everyone works out of town.

It passed less than a mile from my mother's house just before it left town and veered more NE. She saw debris falling outside the window and for some reason she could not explain, she went outside and watched is pass before lighting and the RFD brought her to her senses. She said it was just a big, black, boiling mass that she could not see the funnel. She said she was hypnotized even with parts of trees landing in the tops of the trees around her house until a large bolt of lightning hit a tree in the yard beside hers.

I was told other stories from friends but Mom took the cake. I showed her this video and she said it was almost exactly what it looked like to her.

 

Peter Griffin

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62
Location
Newport, NC
The insanity of this day never ceases to amaze me even 9 years later. Those Smithville and Phil Campbell EF5s are just on another level of scary. That video of the Phil Campbell tornado screaming behind that guys house is still probably top 2 scariest tornado videos i have ever seen. You could put either that or the video of the Rochelle tornado coming straight at that guy filming as my #1.
 

Equus

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Saragossa, AL
I haven't drawn anything in a long time so I kind of want to sit down when I have time and do some artwork of the 4/27 tornadoes at various points in their life cycle... It's striking how many looked remarkably alike, and that the Hackleburg tornado was nightmarishly identical to a couple other extraordinarily violent tornadoes (Vilonia and Bassfield) - I will reiterate that 4/27 still doesn't feel like it was a real thing that actually happened looking at track maps. Going practically anywhere in the northern 2/3 of the state and remembering "oh yeah this area got nailed by a strong/violent tornado nine years ago"
 

Equus

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Saragossa, AL
It's also interesting to note, speaking of the new Mt Hope photo, the clear step in the evolutions that day where the tornadoes went from cone to fat cone/wedge to obscured by rain leaving a nasty bowl wedge hidden by rotating rain curtains and power flashes. That tornado seemed to be in the process of becoming obscured as it passed Mt Hope and would soon only be visible from waaaay too close inside the rain curtains...
 

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