From April 25-28, 2011, more than 200 tornadoes occurred in five southeastern states.
The deadliest part of the four-day outbreak was the afternoon and evening of April 27, when 122 tornadoes resulted in 313 deaths across central and northern Mississippi, central and northern Alabama, eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and northern Georgia. Three additional lives were claimed by tornadoes in the predawn hours of April 27 bringing the daily total to 316.
There were 15 violent (Enhanced Fujita Scale 4 or 5) tornadoes reported. Eight of the tornadoes had path lengths exceeding 50 miles. Two of the tornadoes – one in northern Alabama and another that struck the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas – each claimed more than 60 lives.
“That was one of the worst tornado outbreaks that we’ve ever seen here in this particular region,” Dan Dixon, meteorologist in the National Weather Service, Huntsville Office, said.
Editor’s note: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was the source for the statistics in this article.