Spring time is the time when weather systems clash, and produce severe storms and tornadoes. However, it usually starts quietly with a ramp up of activity in April going into May. In 2011, that has not been the case. According to the preliminary reports from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, there have been 654 tornadoes! Thirteen of these twisters have been deadly.
Some of the metropolitan areas affected by these storms this month has been Raleigh (North Carolina), St. Louis, and Little Rock (Arkansas). This past Friday, an EF2 tornado stuck one of the local airports in St. Louis while an EF4 twister struck in one of the nearby suburbs. On Monday, deadly storms struck the Little Rock area of Arkansas. The number of tornadic storms in April is a record exceeding that set in 1974 with 267. In 1974, we were awakened to the power and fury of tornadoes with the Severe Weather Outbreak of April 4th of that year. Places such as Xenia, Ohio became part of the national conscience by being one of the hardest hit towns in this outbreak.
In addition, the current tally for tornadoes for April has shattered the previous mark for twisters in any month. Back in May of 2003, there were 543 torandoes. In total, there have been over 6500 severe weather reports in April 2011, which is the highest number for any month since the Storm Prediction Center has been keeping records. On average, there are about 3,300 such reports including 163. There have been 10 severe weather outbreaks nationwide this month. Now, with storm chasers, Skywarn spotters, more weather data stations and observations, documentation of these storms, and media coverage, expect these numbers to continue to increase in the future.