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The hellish tornado week of May 2003

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
5/02/2016, 11:18:26 AM

This piece of weather history is from the days before I blogged for AccuWeather, but from our "WeatherWhys" archive:


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"The first week of May in 2003 had one of the worst tornado outbreaks on record in the United States with around 400 twisters being reported. Missouri and Illinois had the most tornadoes. Over 40 people were killed during the week-long outbreak. "


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After the dust settled (taking out duplicate reports), there were 348 tornadoes recorded that week . Between April 30 and May 11, there were around 400 (depending on what times you count as a "day").


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The outbreak was so important that an entire paper was published on it in the American Meteorological Society magazine. There were also an incredible 723 wind reports and 1,782 hail reports that week!


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Oklahoma City suffered multiple twisters... from the NWS report: "One day after an F4 tornado struck the southern Oklahoma City metropolitan area on May 8, 2003, a single supercell thunderstorm produced ten tornadoes in central Oklahoma, including one F3 and three F1 tornadoes in the northern Oklahoma City metropolitan area."


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A total of six F4 tornadoes struck, including one around Kansas City and near Memphis.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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