Report breaks down brutal April weather
A tornado outbreak in late April killed 320 people, 235 of those in Alabama, including 41 in Tuscaloosa, pictured here.
June 16th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

Report breaks down brutal April weather

The extreme weather events that battered the United States throughout April impressed even the nation's top weather experts.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration special report outlines just how extraordinary the month was:

  • 875 preliminary tornado reports
  • More than 500 confirmed tornadoes
  • 358 fatalities related to two tornado outbreaks
  • Record rainfall along the Ohio River Valley
  • Record flooding along the Mississippi River
  • Drought conditions and 1.79 million acres burned by wildfires in the Southern Plains
  • $10 billion to $15 billion in damage

Calling the confluence of events "truly remarkable," CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano concurred with the report's authors in putting much of the blame on a phenomenon known as La Niña.

"La Nina was the main contributor to above-average snowpack and heavy fall/spring rains, resulting in historic flooding," Marciano said. "La Nina also combined with above-average water temperatures in the Gulf to spawn killer tornadoes."

During La Nina, water in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator is cooler than normal, strongly influencing the formation of weather patterns in the United States, according to NOAA.

"Fortunately, La Nina has faded to a more 'neutral' phase," Marciano said.

"Unfortunately, hurricane season has begun, and the U.S. is overdue for a landfalling storm," he added. "We've gone over 1,000 days without a hurricane hitting the U.S. That streak will likely break in the coming months."

The Climate Prediction Center expects a busier-than-normal hurricane season.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends people living in coastal states create hurricane preparedness kits with food, water and medication to last three days, a battery-powered radio, flashlights and other essential items.

"We've all been through a lot with the April tornado outbreak, and there's a lot of work ahead of us," said Jeff Byard, state coordinator for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

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Filed under: Alabama • Hurricanes • Natural Disasters • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. GloballyWarmed

    To all those who say there is no global warming I say whatever floats your house, I mean whatever floats your boat, I mean whatever floats your house....

    June 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nottheendoftheworld

      Yeah, it is a typical human fear that the end of the world is coming. Human beings have such a short sighted view of the past and present to think it all relates to them and their short time on earth. Stop being afraid and live life.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      This is global warming. I hate people that try to deny it. They say there is no evidence. LOOK AROUND YOU PEOPLE!!!! IT'S EVERYWHERE!!!

      June 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Obama Sucks

    It's God punishing us for voting a fraud into office.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      He sure takes His time then. Bush got stole the office 11 years ago.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Blaum

    So if we haven't had a hurricane hit the States in over 1000 days.... is that a result of global warming... or is it just the bad stuff that's global warming?

    What a joke.... Did anyone hear Al Gore say the earth's core is "several million degrees"..... hotter than the sun, eh Al? What an idiot..... but man... he sure did get rich off this snake oil.....

    June 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      If we haven't had a landfall in 1000 days that's a statistical anomaly. Look, we are spewing millions of tones of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Do you really think this will have no longer term effect? You could say that the extra CO2 will lead to more plant growth which will bring it back down. And you'd be right – if we aren't also in the process of deforesting large swaths of the planet.

      Also, the temperature of the earth's core is around 5500C. The temperature of the surface of the sun is a few hundred degrees hotter. There are other parts of the sun that are in the millions of degrees (such as the core of the sun). Did he flub the temps? Yes. Is he entirely incorrect? No.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ivan

    Funny how the "Red" states seem to get the brunt of all this Red = G.O.P. = no such thing as global warming. Here in the North East we do ok because we are smart.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mobi

    It's funny how all the liberals in here are saying this is all caused by Global Warming when the reason we have been having all of these harsh storms is because of the cold air coming down from the north. Ask any weather man.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      Epic. Fail.
      Storm systems are formed by the collision of warm & cold fronts. Warm air is forced over the cooler air...that convection is what creates clouds, rain, and–in the case of strong enough fronts–storms. In the winter, when the warm front is weaker, you see ice storms and blizzards. In the summer, when the warm front is much more powerful & the warm front contains the precipitation, you see thunderstorms and tornadoes.
      You do not see storms when there is only one front or the other.
      The reason people state it's global warming is because a warmer planet means more water evaporates and is carried by fronts. More evaporated water means more water to come back down, but first it's lifted by the cold front until it reaches dew point. With more water being lifted, you get larger clouds, larger storms, and more powerful winds.

      For proof of THAT, you can ask any weather man or watch any weather broadcast (even on Fox News, where they'll deny the warmer air is man-caused).

      June 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    Oh schitt.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    What the schitt?

    June 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leeintulsa

    BAD! BAD la nina!

    June 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
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