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Old 02-12-2011, 12:43 AM
Status: "salina, ca" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Plano, TX
769 posts, read 666,802 times
Reputation: 660
Default What exactly caused the "Super Outbreak" of '74?

Now being the weather fanatic that I' am I have done plenty of research on weather phenomina such as Tornadoes, Hurricane's, and Lightning. However, most of my personal research (btw, I' am not a scientist or storm chaser, just an enthusiast) has been devoted to Tornadoes, and out of all of the big Tornado events that I have studied on, the Super Outbreak of 1974 still puzzles me.

I' am well aware that the basic ingredients of a Tornado or Severe Weather outbreak in general consist of 1. a very moist and unstable lower atmosphere, 2. a very powerful jetstream, 3. strong windshear, 4. powerful upper level and or lower level disturbances, 5. Warm air at the surface clashing with colder air in the upper levels, and 6. Very high CAPE values. All of these ingredients (along with a few others) come together to produce the outbreaks.

However, what I find interesting is that nothing remotely as bad as the Super Outbreak has occured since then. This country has had some rather bad ( and unfortunately deadly) outbreaks since then, such as the April 1991 outbreak in Kansas/Oklahoma, The Oklahoma outbreak of May 3, 1999, The May 4-10 2003 Outbreak Sequence (which affected the area that I lived in at the time), and the Super Tuesday Outbreak of February 2008, just to name a few.

From what I read, the Super Outbreak had 148 Tornadoes in less than 18 hours over more than 10 states. Six of the tornadoes were F-5 strength and 24 of them were F-4 level. That is insane! Was it a very unique and rare weather pattern that caused this short but extremely intense outbreak? It's hard to believe that out of all of the crazy weather patterns that we have had in this country since '74, that we haven't had another outbreak like it. Of course, I' am not wishing for one at all. I would rather there not be ANY tornadoes to tell you the truth. I have lost a few relatives as a result of Tornadoes. I' am just surprised that there hasn't been any other event in the past 36 years like the Super Outbreak.

Last edited by Newbe10; 02-12-2011 at 01:09 AM..
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:03 PM
Status: "salina, ca" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Plano, TX
769 posts, read 666,802 times
Reputation: 660
I guess a better way of asking it is "what was so unique about the weather pattern that day in April 1974 that caused such a devastating outbreak in such a short amount of time?"
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Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

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