Stats from Second-Deadliest Tornado Day in US

By cherundolog
May 04, 2011, 2:26:13 AM EDT

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These stats will continue to be updated as we learn more about last Wednesday's devastating tornado outbreak.

Fatality information received by NOAA indicates that at least 340 people were killed during the period from 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday. When the deaths that occurred in the 48 hours prior are added in, that figure increases to 350.

The total of 340 deaths from Wednesday makes that day the second-deadliest tornado day in U.S. recorded history.

March 18, 1925, holds that record with 747 deaths. Out of those 747 deaths in 1925, 695 people were killed from the lone Tri-State Tornado.

Tuesday into Wednesday is the deadliest two-day period since April 5-6, 1936, when 454 people were killed.

The Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado from Wednesday is also notorious for the number of lives it claimed, which currently stands at 65.

That tornado is now the deadliest in the United States since 80 people lost their lives to a tornado in southern Kansas on May 25, 1955.

On Friday, the NWS declared the Smithville, Miss., tornado from Wednesday an EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. An EF-5 has not occurred in Mississippi since 1966.

The tornado that hit Hackleburg, Ala., and other parts of Marion county was also declared an EF-5 by the NWS Saturday.

The tornado that struck Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala., has been rated as an EF-4, while another twister that devastated Catoosa County, Ga. was also classified an EF-4.

The National Weather Service estimates that there were a total of 312 tornadoes from 8 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday. The entire outbreak, which lasted from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Thursday, yielded 362 tornadoes.

The record for the greatest number of tornadoes in one event was originally set on April 3-4, 1974, with a total of 148 tornadoes.

These numbers are according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. Keep in mind the reports from Wednesday's outbreak are preliminary and unofficial, and the number will continue to fluctuate.


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