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Why were there so many tornadoes last week in the Deep South? And why were they so strong?

For true weather geeks, this blog post by meteorologist and weather researcher Jon Davies, whom I have featured in stories and on my blog in the past, offers a technical discussion of the ingredients that created such a momentous outbreak.

An excerpt from Jon’s post:

“Why were the tornadoes so strong, so numerous, and on the ground so long? Comparing the 27 April 2011 storm environment to years of tornado database parameters that I’ve kept, the setting for Wednesday’s tornadoes was rare and quite extraordinary.”

The energy fueling the outbreak, he says, dwarfed even the environments that created the Moore/Oklahoma City tornado of May 3, 1999, and the Greensburg tornado of May 4, 2007 – both of which measured EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.