BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The twister that struck the city of Joplin in Missouri was the deadliest single tornado in the United States in 60 years.

In Boulder meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are tracking all of the recent powerful storm systems as they move across the nation.

NOAA officials say we see this type of weather pattern about every 20 years, but to have this many tornadoes is extremely unusual.

noaa Meteorologists Track Severe Storms At NOAA In Boulder

Inside NOAA on Monday (credit: CBS)

Meteorologist Nezette Rydell says an unusual repetitive storm pattern is to blame for the rash of tornadoes in the Midwest.

“We’ve got a lot of moisture to our south, we’ve certainly had lots of rain this year. It’s just feeding instability that allows the storms to grow to this proportion,” she said.

As of Tuesday morning the death toll for the Joplin tornado was at 116.

Rydell says even the most advanced forecasting equipment is sometimes no match for Mother Nature.

“We cannot stop the storms from coming. We have to be prepared. In some cases that hasn’t been possible this year, and that’s led to these fatalities,” she said.

NOAA was tracking several severe storms Tuesday morning. Possible tornadic activity could happen in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, according to the experts.

Rydell says that May into June remains a period where there’s a good chance for severe activity across the country.

“The possibility for this to continue for the next few weeks is there,” she said.

Additional Resources

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for its disaster relief efforts following the deadly Joplin, Mo., tornado. Visit for information on how you can help, or to give $10 text the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Get complete coverage on the tornado at

Comments (4)
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