Stormy weather

  • Stormy weather
    15.04.2011 11:36

    It has been a stormy start to the United States 2011 ‘tornado season’, which typically begins in April and runs through to July.

    A severe squall line and associated thunderstorms moved eastwards across south-eastern states on the 4th April, tearing through the Mississippi Valley, the Appalachians and the Ohio Valley right through to the Atlantic coast.

    NOAA’s Storm Prediction Centre reported more than 20 tornadoes along with strong winds and large hail, all of which combined to destroy homes and other buildings, uproot trees and bring down power lines across large tracks of land. The storms caused numerous injuries and several fatalities.

    The next few days were much calmer with high pressure dominating. However, this was not to last. A few storms broke out on the 8th, then on Saturday the 9th a northward surge of warm, moist air brought tornadoes as far north as Iowa, with a second line of storms and tornadoes in Kentucky which ran south-eastwards through the Appalachians to South Carolina.

    There was no respite on Sunday either, when a cold front moving eastwards brought a slew of thunderstorms, along with strong winds, large hail and tornadoes, from Texas north-eastwards up through the Mississippi Valley to the Upper Midwest.

    The US National Weather Service has confirmed that ten tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin on Sunday 10th April. This is a tie for the biggest April tornado outbreak in the state's history, which last occurred on April 27th, 1984.

    The storms eased on Monday with strong winds but no tornadoes reported. The following days were also more settled. However, the risk returns for Friday the 15th April, when there is a threat of severe thunderstorms and associated tornadoes through portions of the southern and central Great Plains and the Mississippi Valley. This risk moves east on Saturday 16th to encompass eastern parts of the Mississippi Valley and the Appalachians.

    By: Victoria Kettley