Wednesday, March 28, 2007

23 Years Ago: Carolina's Outbreak

March 28, 1984 is a date that I personally will never forget. It is the date of one of the most devastating severe weather outbreaks in the Carolinas in recent times. Twenty-two tornadoes were reported that day in South and North Carolina. One of the first tornadoes of the day occurred around 4:45pm in my hometown of Newberry, South Carolina. The scene in downtown Newberry was much like a war zone. Several businesses and one church were totally destroyed. I was only a young kid when I saw this disturction, but I knew I wanted to become a meteorologist to warn people in the future of any tornadoes that may strike.

One person was killed in Newberry, South Carolina on March 28, 1984. That would not be the only death that day, as a total of 57 people were killed across the Carolinas. Forty-two of those deaths were in North Carolina. An estimated 800 people in the Carolinas were injured.

A lot has changed in weather forecasting in the last twenty-three years. We now have a network of Doppler radars that can provide advanced warnings of developing severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Thanks to efforts by the National Weather Service and media outlets, the public is better informed on what to do in the event of a tornado. If something like the Carolina's Outbreak of 1984 were to happen again, hopefully the number of fatalities and injuries would be much less.

While widespread severe outbreaks like this one in 1984 are rare in the Carolinas, it serves as a reminder that strong tornadoes can occur here. Do you know where you and your family would go for safety if a tornado were headed for your home or business?

You can read more about the March 28, 1984 Carolinas Outbreak through the following links --

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