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A powerful mid-latitude cyclone triggered a significant tornado outbreak is across the Midwest and Mid-South.
The storm warranted the Storm Prediction Center to issue a high risk – the highest level of severe weather outlook – for parts of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
The National Weather Service confirmed over 120 tornadoes produced by the system, making March 31st, 2023 the 4th most productive tornado day on record. More than 28,000 people were placed under severe weather warnings, according to the NWS.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, a tornado tore through the town and hospitalized 50 people. At least 2,100 residents we’re impacted by the storm, that devastated the western portion of Little Rock.
A rare EF3 tornado touched down in Sussex County, Delaware on the evening of April 1 that resulted in one fatality. A storm of this caliber is extremely rare for Delaware, and left behind a 14 mile path of destruction, making it the widest in Delaware history. Only one other tornado has ever received that high of a rating on the Fujita scale in Delaware, a measured F-3 storm on a former ranking system that struck on April 28, 1961.
Total casualties related to the storms totaled 32, according to the Associated Press. Among the casualties were nine in McNairy County, Tennessee, five in Arkansas and Indiana each, four in Illinois, and one in Alabama and Mississippi each.
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This multi-day time lapse shows the tornado outbreak across the Midwest and South. The next day the system triggered severe weather across the Northeast.
GeoColor GLM Group Energy Density
A broad mid-latitude cyclone triggered a tornado outbreak that brought high-impact weather from Wisconsin to Texas.
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A severe storm produced a damaging tornado in Little Rock, Arkansas on Friday afternoon.
GLM Group Energy Density Visible (band 2)