The Christmas 2012 tornado outbreak was bad, but it didn’t approach anywhere like the horrors of April 27, 2011, in the South, fortunately.
My amateur impression from listening to more knowledgeable people discuss it (those in the discussion who have “meteorologist” after their names) is that the warm front coming in from the Gulf didn’t go as far inland over the South as expected (less available convective potential/moisture) and there was excessively strong shear in the upper levels. As with hurricanes, I guess, upper level winds that are too strong can inhibit storm growth or even tear storms apart.
However, it was bad enough – people got injured, lost their homes or took a lot of damage, and there were 2-3 deaths associated with the weather, although apparently not directly a result of it.
Dr. Wikipedia (that is, unofficially) says there were 26 confirmed tornadoes (out of 33 reports listed at the SPC website on the 25th when I checked).
There was also straight-line wind damage and flooding in some areas.
Up here in the Frozen North (upstate New York), they were predicting a Nor’easter, but we lucked out and just got a few inches of snow and very little ice.
There have been far worse winter storms up here.
I hope you all stayed safe and snug. Happy holidays to everybody!
A schedule note
My holidays have been unexpectedly good, and I’ve kicked back somewhat more than expected. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean that I’ll have to work hard over the weekend to get the minimum number of articles ready in the new website by Monday night, as well as the summary post here for the Civil War anniversary.
It’s doable, but the regular Civil War post for the first week of 1863/2013 will come out later in the coming week, or possibly even as a double post by January 7th.
Thank you again, everybody, for your interest!