While a ‘Tupelo tornado’ might sound like the name of a sports team it is instead a huge twister that went through the north and west of the Mississippi city on Monday afternoon, downing power lines and causing lots of damage. So far only one fatality has been reported from this particular storm. Monday’s tornado was part of a storm system that claimed 19 lives in the southern United States within the past two days.
Most of the twister deaths occurred on Sunday when tornadoes struck both Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma. At least 100 people in Arkansas sustained injuries. Tornadoes struck four North Carolina counties on Friday and the governor, Pat McCrory, both declared a state of emergency and warned residents that more bad weather was in the forecast.
The National Weather Service said the threat of tornadoes will last for several days as this strong weather system interacts with a large area of unstable air across both the central and the southern parts of the United States.
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said at least 15 people had died in that state from the storm that authorities say produced the first fatalities of this year’s U.S. tornado season. He previously told a news conference 16 had been killed but later recanted that count.
The Tupelo tornado and those in the surrounding states are likely just the beginning of what’s to come for the 2014 tornado season. It seems that every year for the past several years the tornadoes have been more frequent and have caused more deaths and damage than ever before. Tornadoes are even occurring in states that seldom see any tornado activity, prompting many to wonder what on earth is going on with the weather system. Some say it is directly related to global warming while others say it’s simply the changing weather patterns. Either way it’s a frightening phenomenon and it’s heartbreaking to know that people will lose their homes–and some will even lose their lives–before the 2014 season comes to a close.
Image via Wikimedia Commons