The first decade of our new century recorded a noticeable decrease in violent tornadoes in the United States. The second decade so far has not been so kind. Although through this writing it was not official, the first EF-5 tornado in three years and only the 3rd in the past decade may have been recorded this past Wednesday. The horrific tornado outbreak that struck Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia killed over 200 individuals with over 1000 people injured.
That would place this event with the third highest death toll in the past 50 years. Several long-lived tornadoes with damage paths over 50 miles long, with widths near 1 mile, devastated numerous communities as well as portions of the larger cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes are rare, but when they occur, high casualty numbers are frequently observed, because even if you take proper shelter, some storms are sadly just too powerful to survive.