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    This Week in Review: Lethal Storms Flood Eastern, Central US; Heat Scorches West

    By By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.Com Staff Writer
    May 03, 2014, 11:52:19 PM EDT

    This week's deadly outbreak of severe weather spawned a series of lethal tornadoes, torrential downpours, life-threatening floods, wind gusts up to 80 mph and landslides, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

    While portions of the Eastern and Central United States were experiencing record-breaking rainfall, and severe thunderstorms, the drought stricken West was scorched with record-high temperatures as the risk for raging wildfire ignited with the onset of high winds.

    “The main setup for the severe weather included a large, slow-moving upper-level low pressure system, which strengthened to the east of the Rockies,” AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards said. “This system tapped into warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air and lead to the multi-day severe weather outbreak.”

    Tornadoes:

    In the early morning hours of April 27, powerful thunderstorms began to take shape across Midwest and South, sparking a deadly outbreak of severe weather what would span five days and sweep across 20 states.

    Lethal thunderstorms ignited across the skies of Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Iowa on Sunday, spawning the series of deadly twisters that would claim 17 lives.

    An EF3 rated tornado roared through Mayflower, Arkansas, leaving a wake of destruction in its 30-mile path. By Monday, another slow moving storm system rumbled across Mississippi and Alabama spawning lethal tornadoes across the region. An EF4 was reported in Jackson, Mississippi.

    By Tuesday, as the storm system moved toward the East Coast, slamming Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas, the death toll would climb to 35 by days end after a series of twisters barreled through the South cutting power to hundreds of thousands.


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