Author: Mary Knapp

As we move into April, we move into severe weather season. April 3rd marks the 45 anniversary of one of the worst tornado outbreaks on record. On that date in 1974, a super outbreak of tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and the eastern United States. Severe thunderstorms spawned 148 tornadoes in 36 hours from Alabama to Michigan. Death toll during the outbreak was 315 persons, with another 5300 injured. Damages in the US totaled 600 million dollars, in 1974 dollars. That is approximately 3.3 billion dollars at 2019 values. There were over 30 F4/F5 tornadoes, and as many as 15 tornadoes on the ground at one time. Half the town of Xenia, Ohio was destroyed and 34 people were killed.

1974 Super Outbreak (NWS-ILN)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library