The 1974 Super Tornado Outbreak

Caption: tornado in Xenia, Ohio

The largest tornado outbreak on record for a single twenty-four hour period happened on April 3, 1974. One hundred and forty-eight tornadoes were confirmed in thirteen U.S. states. It was called the Super Tornado Outbreak.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air coming down to the ground. Tornados can last from several seconds to an hour. Most last less than ten minutes. The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country. It is considered normal for the U.S. to experience up to a thousand tornadoes in a year's time.

On April 1, 1974, a low-pressure system developed across the Interior Plains. Moist air was added to this, which created a storm system. The weather forecasters were expecting some severe weather to begin around April 3, but not to the extent that occurred.

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