Hurricane Sandy Has Been Compared To This Tornado 'Super Outbreak'

tornado storm

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In a tweet yesterday, meteorologist Jim Cantore mentioned a “super outbreak of 1974” when talking about Hurricane Sandy’s potential to be a disastrous Hurricane.That got us wondering: What the heck is he talking about?

The “super outbreak” was the worst tornado outbreak in U.S. history, which happened April 3 and 4, 1974.

See the damage from the Super Outbreak of 1974 >
An incredible number of tornadoes hit 13 states: Alabama, Georgie, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the technology of 1974 was not able to quickly and accurately predict tornadoes. The National Weather Service needed visual confirmation of a tornado in order to issue a warning, which resulted in an incredible amount of damage.

Even with current warning systems, as Cantore alluded to in his tweet, disastrous tornado storms still happen. From April 25 through 28 in 2011 the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded tore through the Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States. 358 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in 21 states from Texas to New York and in southern Canada causing an insane amount of damage.

During the Super Outbreak 148 tornadoes touched down in 13 states.

Source: NOAA

The outbreak lasted 16 hours and it's damage path was more than 2,500 miles long.

Source: NOAA

The tornadoes killed 330 people and injured 5,484.

One tornado was was five miles wide. At one point, 15 tornadoes were on the ground at the same time.

The storms rolled rail cars onto their sides at the Monsanto plant in Ligonier, IN.

This was the Wawasee Airport in Syracuse, IN after the storm.

Damage photos taken at the Wawasee Airport

Some of the aeroplanes in the airport were flipped over.

Trees were uprooted at the Wawasee golf course.

Houses were torn apart in Atwood, Ohio.

Gusts of wind threw this car onto a tree.

An uprooted tree fell on this house.


Tornadoes and strong winds tore through this elementary school.

The tornadoes left this house looking like it could collapse at any minute.

Only the foundation of this house remained.

Severe damage at Twin Lakes High School in Monticello, IN.

The gymnasium at Twin Lakes High after the storm.

The tornadoes tore through downtown Monticello.

Debris flying in the powerful winds were able to bend parking meters.

The Penn Central bridge in Upper Lake Freeman was torn apart.

Find out why we're so worried about Hurricane Sandy.

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