1000+ Tornadoes So Far in 2011 500 dead and counting; April saw 800 plus tornados, the most for any month ever recorded, and the tornado wave continues in May. Catastrophic damage to many towns and several cities. Nuclear plant emergency shutdown. Large parts of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin Missouri are leveled by F4 and F5 "multivortex" tornadoes. These are huge- a half-mile or more wide on the ground, miles-long swath of destruction, descending from supercells up to 60,000 feet high, 'multi-vortex' wedge tornadoes with 200 mph winds- enough to destroy a town, and even strip the bark from the shattered trees.
Click the map above for more information on the more than 50 deadly tornadoes of 2011, as of May 24
Update May 24: Another wave. Joplin Missouri devastated by an EF4-5.
"Storm Prediction Center director Russell Schneider says video evidence shows Sunday's tornado appeared to be a rare 'multivortex' twister."
May 25, the tornadoes continue . . .
NOAA GOES satellite animation of the severe weather pattern, May 2011:
"Across the nation and the planet, unprecedented extreme weather events are on the rise.
Last year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared a record 81 disasters, almost three times the average seen over the past 60 years, leading to $6.7 billion in total damages. Munich Re, one of the largest reinsurers in the world said, "The only possible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change."
- Climate change makes extreme weather normal
"The last two months have been a whirlwind, sometimes literally, of wild weather: The deadliest tornado outbreak since 1932, levels of flooding unseen since the Great Depression. But as Texas eastern neighbor, Louisiana, finds itself ankle-deep in water rushing down from the diverted Mississippi River, the Lone Star state is immersed in a climate crisis of its own, complete with months of bone-dry land and thousands of raging wildfires."
- Texas Wildfires: Months Of Flames, Drought Devastate The Lone Star State
On June 1, tornadoes struck central and western Massachussetts, an area where tornadoes are almost unheard-of. Above, a tornado in Springfield sucks water up from the Connecticut River in the middle of the city.