Weather Talk: 'Super Outbreak' 43 years ago changed severe weather forecasting

It has been 43 years since the April 1974 "Super Outbreak" of tornadoes; the outbreak that changed severe weather forecasting more than any other. Over 18 hours from April 3 to April 4, 1974, an estimated 150 tornadoes tore their way through 13 s...

It has been 43 years since the April 1974 "Super Outbreak" of tornadoes; the outbreak that changed severe weather forecasting more than any other. Over 18 hours from April 3 to April 4, 1974, an estimated 150 tornadoes tore their way through 13 states plus eastern Ontario, killing 330 people and injuring over 6,000. It was as if the weather was organized into a killing machine, with families of tornadoes coming in wave after wave. The storms traumatized the eastern United States, but also led to great improvements in tornado spotter networks, safety procedures in schools and businesses, and tornado siren systems. It also inspired an entire generation of young people to become interested in the science of meteorology, among them a 13-year old boy who looked a little like me only with more hair. The Super Outbreak was unparalleled in the modern era until another super outbreak swept across the Deep South over four days in April 2011, killing 315 people. A month later, more than 160 were killed in an EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Mo.