Tornadoes of 2011 facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
2011 United States tornado count graph
A graph of the 2011 tornado count in the United States. The count is compared to the minimum, maximum, and 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile counts.

This page describes the tornadoes that were recorded in 2011. Tornadoes that cause the most damage form most often in the United States, Bangladesh and eastern India. However, they can occur almost anywhere under the right conditions. Tornadoes also appear regularly in southern Canada during the Northern Hemisphere's summer season. They also form less regularly in Europe, Asia and Australiasia.

There were 1,897 tornadoes reported in the U.S. in 2011. Of these, 1,704 were confirmed. The year 2011 was an unusually severe year for tornadoes. At least 577 people were killed in tornadoes in 2011: 12 in Bangladesh, two in South Africa, one in New Zealand, one in the Philippines, one in Russia, one in Canada, and an estimated 553 in the United States. There were several very large tornado outbreaks in the middle and end of April and in late May. The outbreaks in April resulted in the second-most number of deaths in a single year for tornadoes in U.S. history.

Tornado described below are ranked using the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

January

There were 29 tornadoes reported in the U.S. in January. Of these, 16 were confirmed.

January 1
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
11 14 4 7 0 0

A deadly series of tornado continued though the early hours of January 1. Seven tornadoes formed in Mississippi over three hours. The strongest of these was rated EF3. It had winds of 145 mph (233 km/h), and caused major damage along Mississippi Highway 19. Overall damage in the state from the tornadoes totalled US$10.4 million. Three people were injured.

January 24–25
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 2 1 0 0 0

Three tornadoes formed in eastern Europe in late January. Two formed in Turkey and one in Greece. The strongest of these tornadoes was an F2 that formed in northern Rhodes.

February

There were 68 tornadoes confirmed in the U.S. in February.

February 24
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
3 6 5 0 0 0

Several tornadoes formed across parts of the Southern United States on February 24. The strongest tornado was in Nashville, Tennessee. Another tornado formed in Wilson County, where an emergency was declared. Both tornadoes were rated EF2.

February 27–28
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
11 21 7 1 0 0
February 28, 2011 Dubois Indiana tornado damage
A home destroyed by an EF2 tornado in Dubois County, Indiana

Another severe weather event developed on February 27 and continued into February 28 across the Midwest and South. At least 35 tornadoes were reported across several states. The tornado that caused the most damage was in Franklin County, Tennessee on the afternoon of February 28. One person was killed by an EF2 tornado. It was the first death caused by a tornado of 2011. Other tornadoes formed in parts of Missouri and Illinois. There were 22 tornadoes in that region, some of which were as strong as EF2. Nobody was killed in those tornadoes, but they caused damage totalling $12,800,000.

March

There were 75 tornadoes confirmed in the U.S. in March.

March 5–6
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
7 2 1 0 0 0

One confirmed EF0 tornado hit the town of Crowley, Louisiana on March 5. An EF2 tornado struck Rayne, Louisiana early that afternoon. It killed a mother while she protected her daughter. At least 12 others were injured. Two EF0 tornadoes were also confirmed in the eastern part of North Carolina.

March 8–9
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
5 10 5 0 0 0

Several tornadoes formed on March 8 in northern Texas. They moved eastward to the Florida Panhandle. Louisiana was hit the worst. The most destructive tornadoes, rated EF2, formed just north of New Orleans.

March 21–23
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
7 4 3 1 0 0

There was a brief tornado in the afternoon of March 21 near Maxwell, California. The same system produced more severe weather across eastern Nebraska. Later, a group of supercells began producing tornadoes in south-central Iowa. On March 23, more tornadoes and severe weather developed. The strongest tornadoes formed in eastern Tennessee, where major damage was reported.

March 31, 2011 Central Hillsborough Tornado
Damage from one of the tornadoes near Tampa.
March 29–31
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
6 7 0 0 0 0

On March 29, a warm front over the Gulf of Mexico moved northward into the Gulf Coast States. It brought some severe weather. Three tornadoes formed in Louisiana. One person was killed in Mississippi after lightning caused a house fire. The worst weather shifted into central Florida on March 30. Ten tornadoes formed over the next two days. Damage totalled more than $5 million. Seven people were injured when one of the tornadoes hit a local festival.

April

There were 768 tornadoes were confirmed in the United States in April. That set a new record for the most tornadoes in the country over a one-month period. The previous record was 552 in May 2003.

April 4–11

April 4–5
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
8 32 6 0 0 0

Two tornadoes were reported in Kentucky during the early afternoon on April 4. Both were rated EF2 and caused several injuries. Many buildings were reported to be destroyed, trapping people under the wreckage. One person was killed by an EF2 tornado in Dodge County, Georgia. Nearly 100,000 and 147,000 residences lost power in Tennessee and Georgia respectively.

April 8–9
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
3 1 1 0 0 0

Two tornadoes formed on April 8, one of which was an EF2 that caused very bad damage in Pulaski, Virginia. Many houses were damaged and eight people were injured. During the afternoon of April 9, supercells moved through parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. At least four tornadoes were formed.

April 9–11
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
2 20 7 4 1 0
April 9, 2010 Mapleton, Iowa tornado damage
Damage from the EF3 Mapleton tornado

During the evening of April 9, several severe thunderstorms developed across Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. Over the far west of Iowa, a single supercell formed a group of ten tornadoes. The first was 0.75 mi (1.21 km) wide and struck Mapleton, Iowa. It destroyed about 100 homes. Nobody was killed, but about 14 to 16 people were injured.

April 14–16

April 14–16
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
43 75 30 14 0 0
Tushka, Oklahoma tornado April 14, 2011
The Tushka, Oklahoma tornado.

During the afternoon of April 14, a warning was issued for much of eastern Oklahoma. Supercells developed over central Oklahoma. Several tornadoes were confirmed. A large and very strong tornado caused major damage in the towns of Atoka and Tushka. Many houses in these towns were destroyed. Two people were killed and 25 more injured in Tushka. Another two people were killed in Arkansas.

Thunderstorms developed again over parts of Mississippi, and tornadoes began to form again. An emergency was declared for the northern Jackson area shortly after 11:00 am CDT (1600 UTC). A destructive tornado moved across the area causing very bad damage and several injuries. A large tornado formed in east-central Mississippi and west-central Alabama and another tornado emergency was issued. At least eight people were killed between the two states.

On April 16, a massive outbreak of tornadoes formed in North Carolina. It became the state's worst tornado outbreak in 25 years. At least 24 died and 135 were badly injured. Tornadoes also struck South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Twelve supercells produced at least 25 tornadoes. At least 32 counties were affected. A total of 21 businesses and 440 homes were destroyed. Another 92 businesses and 6,189 homes suffered very bad damage. The worst damage was in Raleigh County.

April 19–24

April 19–24
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
31 40 16 1 1 0

More severe weather developed across the Midwest and southern Great Plains on April 19. Thunderstorms began in the late afternoon and early evening. They brought large hail and several tornadoes. A large tornado was reported near Octavia, Oklahoma. The supercells then merged into a very large squall line. Overnight, the squall line moved eastward and caused major wind damage. It formed several tornadoes across several states. A few were as strong as EF2, but most were brief and weak. In the early hours of April 20, a tornado moved through Oregon, Ohio. It caused some damage but nobody was injured. Three tornadoes hit New Albany, Indiana and Jeffersonville, Indiana. On April 22, several more tornadoes caused damage across the area. The strongest was rated EF4 and struck St. Louis. It caused extensive damage to the city. A few more tornadoes were reported on April 23–24, but most did not cause any severe damage.

Severe weather returned across parts of the Midwest on April 22. St. Louis was the hardest-hit area. The airport was badly damaged. There were several tornadoes reported in other areas. These included an EF2 tornado which moved through Henderson, Webster and Union County in Kentucky.

April 25–28

April 25–28
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
129 143 49 22 11 4

Between April 25 and 28, a huge outbreak of tornadoes happened across much of the Southern United States, as well as parts of the Midwest and Northeast. There were over 300 confirmed tornadoes. A total of 325 people were killed. It was one of the worst outbreaks in the history of the United States. More than 40 tornadoes were confirmed each day of the event: 46 on April 25, 55 on April 26, 206 on April 27 and 51 on April 28. In terms of violent tornadoes, the event ranks third (having a total of 15 EF4/5 storms), behind the 1974 Super Outbreak and 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak.

May

May 2011 Albany, NZ tornado- structural damage
The Albany tornado caused very bad damage to buildings in its path.

During May, there were 326 tornadoes confirmed in the United States. There was also one tornado in Taiwan, and another in the Philippines. The one in the Philippines caused very bad damage and killed one person.

On May 3, a series of thunderstorms hit the far north of New Zealand. Around 3:00 pm NZST, a tornado formed in the suburb Albany in Auckland. Winds were estimated at 125 mph (201 km/h). The tornado ranked as a high-end EF2. It caused bad damage to much of the area. A total of 50 homes were damaged along the tornado's path. One person was killed and at least 20 others were injured.

May 9–10
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
3 2 1 0 0 0

On May 9, two tornadoes formed in South Dakota. They were rated EF1 and EF2. Continuing into May 10, the system slowly moved eastward to Minnesota. Thunderstorms in the state produced large hail. One EF1 tornado formed.

May 21–26
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
43 47 23 5 3 2

On May 21, several tornadoes formed in Kansas. One person was killed in Topeka, several others were injured and at least 20 houses were destroyed. After hitting Topeka, it hit several other towns. Several other tornadoes formed in the region that evening.

Joplin tornado

On May 22, a tornadic supercell formed over Minnesota. It caused major damage in and around Minneapolis. A strong tornado also moved towards Harmony that afternoon and a tornado emergency was issued. Late that afternoon, a very large and strong tornado resulted in serious damage in Joplin. Entire communities were destroyed. Many people were reported to have been trapped in destroyed houses. A total of 158 were killed, and more than 1,000 others were injured.

June

June 1
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
1 4 0 1 0 0
Springfield, MA Tornado 2011, June 1
The Springfield tornado.

There were 156 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in June. A tornado watch was issued on June 1 for parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. That afternoon, an EF3 tornado formed in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts and continued east for 39 miles. It caused major damage to many towns, and many injuries were reported. The tornado in Springfield was the first tornado in Massachusetts to kill somebody since 1995.

June 18–22
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
43 21 9 5 0 0

A large EF3 tornado formed north of Hill City, Kansas on June 19. Another formed later that afternoon near Elm Creek, Nebraska. Several other tornadoes were reported across the region including near Ravenna and in York County. Some were reported to have been very large and strong, but were mostly over open country. On June 21, tornadoes were reported in Anoka County, Minnesota, and Green Lake and Fond du Lac Counties in Wisconsin. A series of tornadoes moved across the area around Louisville, Kentucky late on June 22. A total of five tornadoes were confirmed in the area, including two that were rated EF2. One of the tornadoes hit Churchill Downs and badly damaged several buildings. Tornadoes were also confirmed in Mississippi, Tennessee, Michigan, and Indiana.

July

Over the course of July, at least four tornadoes formed in Alberta, Canada. They did not cause any major damage.

July 1
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
1 4 2 0 0 0
July 16–17
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
13 5 0 1 0 0

There were 101 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in July. On July 1, winds as high as 125 mph (201 km/h) caused damage through South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The worst damage was made along the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Seven tornadoes formed, two of which were rated EF2. On July 16 and 17, at least 16 tornadoes formed over the northern Plains. Most of them were reported in North Dakota. A few of them caused major damage, including a house which was destroyed from a strong EF3 tornado in LaMoure County.

August

On August 1, an F2 tornado struck the city of Blagoveshchensk, in Russia. It stayed on the ground for 13 minutes. The storm damaged over 100 homes and 150 cars. One person was killed and 28 were injured. Damage from the tornado were estimated to cost €1.2 to 2 million ($1.8 to 2.9 million).

August 10
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
1 0 1 0 0 0

There were 59 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in August. Early on August 10, a strong tornado hit Oklahoma near Locust Grove. The tornado destroyed a mobile home, killing one person and injuring two others. The tornado was rated as an EF2.

August 19
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
2 1 0 0 0 0

A tornado formed in Wausaukee, Wisconsin on August 19. It was rated EF1, with winds up to 105 mph (169 km/h). It killed one person.

August 21
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
0 0 0 1 0 0

An strong tornado formed late in the afternoon of August 21 over Goderich in Ontario. It struck the centre of town and caused very bad damage. It was the strongest tornado in Ontario since 1996. At least 37 people were injured and one person was killed. Winds were up to 300 km/h (190 mph; 160 kn). The storm was a F3 tornado according to Environment Canada.

August 26–28

August 26–28
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
4 3 1 0 0 0
See also: Hurricane Irene (2011)

Hurricane Irene produced several tornadoes as it made landfall in North Carolina and moved northward. They were reported across several states along the east coast.

September

See also: Tropical Storm Lee (2011)
September 3–7
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
21 9 0 0 0 0

There were 51 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in September. Tropical Storm Lee resulted in at least 55 reports of tornadoes along the northern Gulf Coast beginning on September 3 and into September 4. Damage was reported from central Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.

October

Two tornadoes formed in South Africa on October 2. One was in the Free State and one in the East Rand, Gauteng. Several homes were destroyed and there were 2 people killed in the township of Duduza.

October 13
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
4 1 0 0 0 0

There were 23 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in October. Several tornadoes formed in central Virginia on October 13. The worst damage was in New Kent County. One other tornado formed near Dumfries, Virginia. In total, five tornadoes were confirmed on this day.

October 18
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
2 0 1 0 0 0

At least three tornadoes formed in Florida late on October 18. Dozens of homes were damaged in Broward County by a tornado with winds of 120 mph. A second tornado with wind speeds of 85 mph struck Indiantown. A third tornado with winds up to 65 mph caused major damage to a home in Indiro.

November

There were 46 tornadoes confirmed in the United States in November.

November 7–8
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
11 7 1 0 1 0
Tornado in southwestern Oklahoma on November 7, 2011
A tornado near Manitou, Oklahoma on November 7.

A series of tornadoes formed across the south-central U.S. on November 7 and 8. It was focused around Texas and Oklahoma. A total of 20 tornadoes were reported across the region. One of the tornadoes was rated as an EF4, and was the first F4 or EF4 tornado in Oklahoma in the month of November since records began in 1950. Most of the tornadoes, however, stayed in very rural areas.

November 14–16
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
6 10 7 0 0 0

A long series of tornadoes formed across a large part of the U.S. starting on November 14. They continued into November 15 and 16. Two EF2 tornadoes formed in southwestern New York. Farther south, more tornadoes formed late on November 15 into early on November 16 across Mississippi into Alabama. Several of the tornadoes caused very bad damage and several injuries. The activity spread into the Carolinas that afternoon. An EF2 tornado just south of Rock Hill, South Carolina caused the deaths of three people. Another EF2 tornado south of Thomasville killed two people, and caused very bad damage. Another person was killed in Forsyth County in Georgia.

November 29
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5
1 3 0 0 0 0

On November 29, a tornado hit Manchester, in England, and caused damage to trees and buildings. A tornado rated F1 (T3) was confirmed in Rossington, South Yorkshire during the evening of November 28.

December

December 22
EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5
7 4 1 1 0 0

At least 15 tornadoes were confirmed in the United States in December. These were reported across Alabama and Georgia. The strongest of the tornadoes was an EF3. It caused very bad damage in parts of Floyd and Gordon Counties. At least two people were injured.

The north-west of Melbourne, Australia was hit by three tornadoes on December 25. The first tornado was reported in Fiskville, about 15 km west of Bacchus Marsh. The second was reported in the city of Melton. Another tornado was reported in Taylors Lakes.

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