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On this Day in Weather History...
In 2011, the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history began. Over a 4 day period from April 25th to the 28th, an inconceivable 327 confirmed tornadoes occurred. They unleashed an expansive swath of horrifying death and destruction over 21 states from Texas to New York and even Southern Ontario, Canada. The outbreak leveled the previous record of 148 set on April 3rd and 4th, 1974 by just over a 2 to 1 margin. Widespread and destructive tornadoes occurred each day. In fact, the April 3rd and 4th 1974 record was broken by the 27th alone when a staggering 173 tornadoes occurred which was obviously a single day record. The hardest hit states were Mississippi and Alabama, where 3 EF5 tornadoes tore through both states. The first EF5 struck East Central Mississippi with a track 29 miles long and around one half mile wide. It killed 3 and 2 homes vanished. The second was perhaps the most violent. It tore through the Northeast Mississippi town of Smithville. Fourteen were killed and 18 homes, 14 businesses, the police station and post office were all leveled. The tornado track was 75 miles long and averaged one half mile wide as it crossed the state line, after which it dissipated in Northwest Alabama. The third EF5 tornado tore through Northwest Alabama where it killed 78. This was the deadliest in Alabama history and the deadliest since the Udall Tornado of May 25, 1955. Dozens of well built homes were swept from their foundations, and 3 churches, 3 restaurants, and a high school were leveled. A large cargo container was thrown 600 yards and sections of asphalt were scoured from highways. It missed a nuclear power plant by 2 miles. The track was an incredible 132 miles long and up to 1.25 miles wide. The tornado drawing the greatest attention was an EF4 that roared along a track 80 miles long from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham. It averaged between 1 and 1.5 miles wide and killed 61. Forty one of the fatalities were in Tuscaloosa where around 1,000 were injured. The University of Alabama suspended operations and postponed commencement ceremonies until August 6th. In all, 321 people were killed, 238 in Alabama alone. && In 1898, Volcano Springs, California lived up to its name by soaring to a high of 118 degrees, thereby establishing the all time warmest temperature in the U.S. for the month of April. In 1984, a late season snowstorm spanning a 3-day period overwhelmed parts of the Northern Rockies and Northwestern Plains. Red Lodge Montana was snowed under by 6 feet, while around five and a half feet buried Lead South Dakota. It was the worst late season snowstorm to hit the affected areas.

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