Monday, December 13, 2021 5:00 PM

A recap of the tornado outbreak

Christopher Nunley

The death toll is rising and the realization of what occurred Friday night continues to sink in as the recovery efforts continue. Friday night’s storms triggered tornados across the heart of the country in what is the deadliest U.S. tornado outbreak in more than a decade, killing people in five states across the Midwest and South.

The storm system triggered a large number of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Tornado Warnings from northeastern Texas to Kentucky. According to FOX Weather, 145 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and 119 Tornado Warnings were issued from late Friday into early Saturday across the region.

Severe and Tornado Warnings issued by local NWS offices (graphic courtesy: FOX Weather:

The severe storms continued east on Saturday with several additional Tornado Warnings being issued in parts of Mississippi and Alabama. In all, nearly 150 (149) Tornado Warnings were issued Friday and throughout the day Saturday.

Tornado Warnings issued by local NWS offices (graphic courtesy: FOX Weather:

As local National Weather Service offices go into the field and survey the damage and assign tornado intensities to the areas impacted, it has been confirmed that more than two-dozen tornadoes touched down late Friday with some tornadoes being strong (a handful of EF-3s have been confirmed) and possibly some tornadoes tracking dozens, if not hundreds of miles. One supercell storm, in particular, tracked over 200 miles, producing potentially continuous, or nearly continuous, tornadoes. This is unprecedented.

Confirmed tornadoes-preliminary (graphic courtesy: FOX Weather:

Rotation tracks from this Quad-State Tornado. Have been going for ~200 miles now. Surveys will eventually tell if it lifted for part of it, but violent and long-tracked. #tornado

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) December 11, 2021

In fact, the last 200+ mile tornado occurred nearly 100 years ago back in 1925 when a tornado tracked continuously for 219 miles.

We won’t know if the 200 mile track was one tornado for some time (surveys take time), but to give perspective, the longest on record was 219 miles in March of 1925. Average path of a tornado is 3-5 miles. #tornado #quadstate

— Ginger Zee (@Ginger_Zee) December 13, 2021

A Federal Emergency has been declared for Kentucky by President Joe Biden to free resources and monies to assist in the recovery efforts. Many states have sent assistance and resources to states that were impacted by Friday’s tornadoes.

President declared an emergency in Kentucky from tornadoes; federal aid to supplement state/local efforts

— West Wing Reports (by Paul Brandus) (@WestWingReport) December 11, 2021