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1974’s Tornadoes: Revisit the “Super Outbreak” Online

"Super Outbreak" of tornadoes, April 3rd and 4th, 1974, as mapped by Dr. Theodore Fujita. (Image Credit:

"Super Outbreak" of tornadoes, April 3rd and 4th, 1974, as mapped by Dr. Theodore Fujita. (Image Credit:

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama was among  several states hit hard in the “Super Outbreak” of tornadoes on April 3 and 4, 1974.

Before the tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011, 1974’s devastation was considered one of the darkest – perhaps the worst – moment in Alabama’s weather history.

According to the National Weather Service, during the late afternoon and evening hours of April 3rd, 1974, at least eight tornadoes – including four extremely intense and long-lived storms – blasted through Alabama.

Sixteen counties in the northern part of the state were hit the hardest. More than 80 people were killed, 949 were injured and damages were more than $50 million.

You can revisit that moment with a quick search of the National Weather Service archives. Searching for “1974 Super Outbreak” returns links to multiple summaries of the event as well as maps, charts and predictions.

A summary from the NWS in Birmingham, AL outlines the impact of the “Super Outbreak” and also offers damage photos, digitized newspaper clippings and statistics charts.

You’ll also find links to private and third-party content, like this YouTube video of the damage aftermath in Huntsville.

This webpage also shows the damage in Huntsville at the intersection of South Memorial Parkway and Drake Ave. from an F3 twister.

Do you remember the 1974 “Super Outbreak” in Alabama? Share your memories below.

In all, between April 3-4, 1974, more than 148 tornadoes ripped across 13 states, including Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.

More than 300 people died and another 5,000 were injured.

Here’s video you may not have seen of tornado damage in Dayton, Ohio.


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