2011 worst U.S. tornado year on record; Texas drought breaks all records

Meteorologist Dr Jeffrey Masters compiled Top ten global weather events of 2011 showing some shocking statistics, including the tornado super outbreak of 343 tornadoes April 25 – 28, 2011 in the Midwest and Southeast U.S.  He ranks the Southern U.S./Northern Mexico drought as the eighth worst weather event in 2011 for the entire planet. Topping his list of worst weather events in 2011 is the East Africa drought and famine which has claimed the lives of over 30,000.

[Image: The Piggly Wiggly supermarket and Family Dollar store after the EF-5 Hackleburg, Alabama tornado on April 27. Image credit: NWS Birmingham, Alabama.]

Masters writes this is “the largest and most damaging tornado outbreak in U.S. history. The tornadoes caused 321 deaths, with 240 of those occurring in Alabama.” He estimates that the “outbreak caused more than $7.3 billion insured losses and total losses greater than $10.2 billion.” Tying for No. 10 was the 180-tornado outbreak in the central and southern states, killing 177, and doing $9.1 billion in damage.

Scientific American highlighted the following stats from Masters’ article:

  • Six top-end EF-5 tornadoes hit the U.S. in 2011, tying this year with 1974 for the greatest number.
  • 2011 ranks third behind 1974 and 1965 for the greatest number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes.
  • Three of the five largest outbreaks on record hit in a six-week period in April and May.
  • April 2011 had the most tornadoes of any month in U.S. history: 753. The previous record was 542 in May 2003.
  • On April 27, 199 confirmed tornadoes touched down, the largest one-day total on record, beating the 148 that occurred in 24 hours on April 3 – 4, 1974.
  • The April 25 – 28, 2011, super outbreak of 343 tornadoes was the largest and most expensive outbreak in U.S. history, according to Masters, causing $10.2 billion in damage.
  • The May 22, 2011, tornado in Joplin killed 158 people and injured 1,150, making it the deadliest U.S. tornado since 1947, and the seventh deadliest in history. The $3 billion in insured damages makes it the most expensive tornado in world history.

The overall tornado death toll of 552 in 2011 ties 1936 as the second deadliest year in U.S. history.

On the Southern U.S./Northern Mexico drought, Masters writes:

“Drought and excessive heat created major impacts across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, southern Kansas, western Louisiana, and northern Mexico. Texas endured its driest 1-year period on record, and rainfall in much of northern Mexico was the lowest since record keeping began in 1941. Texas had the hottest summer ever recorded by a U.S. state, and Oklahoma had the hottest month (July) any U.S. state has ever recorded.

The total direct losses to crops, livestock and timber are estimated at $10 billion, but are expected to continue to rise as the drought continues into 2012. Record fires across the region caused an additional $1 billion in damage.”

Pictures, video and much more text at WeatherUnderground.

8 responses to “2011 worst U.S. tornado year on record; Texas drought breaks all records

  1. roflmao!! ‘
    has this guy stuck his head up lately?
    like Texas is somewhat under snow, as is mexico🙂
    a less than 12 mths drought is rather amusing to aussies who have years on end of truly minor rain, if any, like Four year old kids who have never seen rain..it happens.
    the amount of severe cuclones etc has actually been DROPPING..over the decades.
    and the 1930s worldwide saw some truly nasty drought heatwaves and tornados..so? the carbon levels then were damn low, …
    and SUVs didnt exist..
    this sort of “news” is alarmist shite! from MSM
    I will whack some links to back the lower storms etc.
    what we DO need to remember is that theres simply more people in the areas that got hit, and they all insure for heaps over value so the claims sound really bad…when its adjusted, not much has changed.

    • I think tornadoes may be HAARP related. I’ve been collecting historic data and what I see so far (preliminary analysis) is an increase in tornado outbreaks (where 2 or more touch down)

      To have over 300 in a single storm has to be anthropogenic, imho

  2. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/hurricanes-worse-than-we-thought-100-years-ago/

    http://www.real-science.com/noaa-violent-tornadoes-decline?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RealScience%2Ffeed+%28Real+Science%29

    this above is classic, its a NOAA release:-)

    re the mex tex..
    http://www.real-science.com/permanent-drought-strands-livestock-new

    and more laughs..
    http://www.real-science.com/coming-west-week

    now about 3 weeks back there was a big drama that some lower slope Switzerland tourism operators were crying they had no snow woe woe all is gone..
    too funny, they had FEET of snow over most of the damn country this week just gone.
    do we hear a damn thing about well over average record breaking snows?
    no
    how odd..because that! is NOT on the warmist fear panic oh no its worse than…pick whatever its worse than , the list is miles long of idiotic statements with bugger all FACT.
    now I am waiting for tomorrows bews here as Finally…after months of below average record breaking COOL summer for most of aus we cracked 40C..ho hum, its what we EXPECT! its not unusual its normal,
    but some moron like flim flam flannery will be making some daft baseless statement soon., if not him then Steffan another paid shill for gore and his goreons.
    heres a quiz.
    how does mr I am sooo green Branson plan to up airflights by some massive amount like 800> per year, and this dude gets approval to fly DIRECTLY over the ARCTIC..when no one else is allowed to?
    bet hes got some tidy carbon credit stashes also..
    all that residue to fall on the so white snow..scaring poor little polar bears, those that are breeding so well theyre cannibalising in some areas..25k and rising, up from some 5k 20 yrs ago..
    and think! IF? they cant live without ice..how come we have a few in Aus in zoos with never a wisp of ice floes just cool water..seals do not die or stop breeding without ice IE they breed on rocky or sandy spots just fine too. ergo the bears will still find a snack in the wild
    oh the Arctic ice is well on the RISE this year ..contrary to claims otherwise also.
    and for me one of the Classic WTF??? moment was the claim that Extreme cold air over Arctic was the cause of their Ozone hole.
    oh?
    so the Enron Dow Clinton Gore claims of Abtarctics HFC was man made but this one is cold made??
    be real, they can’t even get their shit together to tell the same lie..

  3. http://www.real-science.com/40-years-week
    this page is rather handy it has a slew of other OLD paper reports on weather…well worth a lookie:-)

  4. There are a few things of note in the dataset. First, we’re dealing with minuscule temperature changes. The length of the gray bars shows that SLT2011 claims that we can measure the temperature of the upper kilometer and a half of the ocean with an error (presumably one sigma) of only ± eight thousandths of a degree …

    Now, I hate to argue from incredulity, and I will give ample statistical reasons further down, but frankly, Scarlett … eight thousandths of a degree error in the measurement of the monthly average temperature of the top mile of water of almost the entire ocean? Really? They believe they can measure the ocean temperature to that kind of precision, much less accuracy?

    I find that very difficult to believe. I understand the law of large numbers and the central limit theorem and how that gives us extra leverage, but I find the idea that we can measure the temperature of four hundred million cubic kilometres of ocean water to a precision of ± eight thousandths of a degree to be … well, let me call it unsubstantiated. Others who have practical experience in measuring the temperatures of liquids to less than a hundredth of a degree, feel free to chime in, but to me that seems like a bridge way too far. Yes, there are some 2,500 Argo floats out there, and on a map the ocean looks pretty densely sampled. Figure 3 shows where the Argo floats were in 2011.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/31/krige-the-argo-probe-data-mr-spock/#more-53945

    ok…the above says it..Hansen,claims outrageous accuracy.
    and so far bugger all of his rabid claims have been anywhere near correct

  5. Great article about tornado trends.

    A cool infographic just came through my twitter feed about tornadoes and thought I would share as we will probably use it in our classroom.

    http://www.buildingsguide.com/blog/tornado-facts-safety-tips-infographic

    Thanks for the great tornado info, it will help out in my classroom.

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