Sunday, 22 January 2012
"A Wild Weather Day" Historic April 27th 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak: Impact, Damages and Tornado Tracks Over Northern Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Many large-scale natural disasters have occurred over the Southern United States region, but not many have been as impressive in scale or intensity as the April 27th , 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak . 259 tornadoes reports over 16 states caused an estimated of 317 fatalities, damages exceeding $10 billion and thousands of injured. This severe weather system left catastrophic destruction in its wake, especially across the state of Alabama. This research focuses on the impacts and damage, and to develop a better depiction of tornado tracks in Geographic Information System (ArcGIS©)form. The specific dataset used include the 40 tornadoes, from the historic April 27th Super Outbreak, that impacted 10 counties from Northern Alabama and 3 counties from Southern Middle Tennessee. 404 fatalities, 879 injured, damages exceeding $52 million, a total of 515.22 miles of affected area, were the results of two massive EF5, four violent EF4, eight EF2, twenty-one EF1 and five EF0 tornadoes in a period of less than 24 hours across the Huntsville Forecast Area. All 40 tornado tracks were plotted and at least 26 tornado tracks were used to indicate specific damage swaths within the tornado track using ArcGIS© and Paint© programs. This was done to detail the impacts and damages caused by the 40 tornadoes. Undoubtedly, the April 27, 2011 super tornado outbreak will rewrite Alabama history, being closely compared to the April 3rd, 1974 Super Tornado Outbreak. This research opens the doors to future studies and analysis of the impacts of this violent weather system that affected Northern Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee.