Newswise — Wednesday's storm system had all of the ingredients in place over the Southeastern U.S. for a major tornado outbreak, said Dave Carroll, meteorology instructor in the Virginia Tech Department of Georgraphy.
"It had abundant moisture, substantial instability, extremely strong wind shear conditions, and the upper air support and frontal trigger for firing these storms.
"Everything was in place for a major event, and it was very well forecasted as these ingredients were seen days in advance. The very strong wind field contributed to rapid storm motions and aided in the production of long-lived tornadoes."
Carroll takes students on field trips to observe tornadoes every year. http://www.vt.edu/spotlight/innovation/2010-02-01-stormchase/stormchase.html