2003: Record tornado outbreak impacts 25 US states


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The first week of May in 2003 had one of the worst tornado outbreaks on record in the United States reports indicate that 384 tornadoes occurred in 25 states, causing 42 deaths with at least 23 tornadoes on each day. Hardest hit were Missouri, where tornadoes occurred on 6 of the 7 days and 19 died; and Tennessee, where tornadoes occurred on 5 days and 11 died during the week-long outbreak that ended on May 11, 2003. The outbreak was so important that an entire paper was published on it in the American Meteorological Society magazine. There were also an incredible 723 wind reports and 1,782 hail reports that week! Oklahoma City suffered multiple twisters... from the National Weather Service report: "One day after and F4 tornado struct the southern Oklahoma City metropolitan area on May 8, 2003, a single supercell thunderstorm produced ten tornadoes in central Oklahoma, including one F3 and three F1 tornadoes in the northern Oklahoma City metropolitan area." A total of six F4 tornadoes struck during the week, including one around Kansas City and another near Memphis.

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