The US National Weather Service (NSW) confirmed that the EF4 tornado was 3.6 km wide when it hit Moss Point, Mississippi on April 12. It was the largest tornado ever seen in the state, AccuWeather reports.
The tornado that struck the state, among hundreds of others that hit the United States over the Easter weekend, killed 8 people at Moss Point.
The largest tornado in history was recorded in El Reno, Oklahoma, in May 2013, reaching a width of 4.1 km. Meteorologists report that there were only a few tornadoes more than 3 km wide during the entire observation period.
In the area of the city of Moss Point, this past weekend gathered all the conditions necessary for a massive tornado. One of the reasons that led to such a long, extensive and powerful tornado was the absence of other storms in the vicinity that could interrupt the flow of air in the tornado.
Tornadoes arise from the intersection of inflow - warm moist air entering the front of the storm and outflow - rain-cooled air exiting the rear of the storm. It is the outflow that helps direct the warm air into the upward funnel at the center of the storm.
When the influx is particularly strong, not interrupted by other storms in the area, and with high moisture content, as is often the case near the Gulf of Mexico, very large and dangerous tornadoes form.