Top Ten American Weather Events of 2011
The year 2011 has been one plagued by extreme weather across the United States from tornadoes to droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and flooding. Many have had to deal with property damage and even lives lost. Record after record has been shattered this year. So many people have been impacted by extreme weather that FEMA has even run short on money at points this year. Meteorologically, this year has been amazing with every type of weather imaginable. Here in the New York City region alone there has been record snowfall, record rainfall, hurricane, tornadoes, freak snowstorms, even an earthquake (although not technically a weather event). Its amazing how much has been experienced over the past year. Just yesterday Windsor Locks, CT (the main weather station in northern CT) joined a growing list of wettest year on record! With the records and the amazement the skies have brought this year also came horrible heartache. The lives that were cut short during freak storms, especially the tornadoes have impacted so many lives forever and all in an instant. Below is a list of the top ten weather events of 2011, basically the worst storms in 2011. I made the list based on what stood out the most through out the year, the storms with the most impact, media coverage, and the most extreme.
Morganza Spillway PBS News Report
Hurricane Irene Links
- More Photos from Hurricane Irene in Milford, Connect...
Photos of the storm surge in Milford, Ct from hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011
- Hurricane Irene slams the Connecticut Coast! Photos!
photos from Hurricane Irene along the Milford, CT coast line.
- Hurricane Irene Slams Connecticut more photos 2
Some of the impacts of Hurricane Irene on Milford, CT away fromt the coast.
- Devastation along the coast- More of Hurricane Irene...
Photos and stories from during and after Hurricane Irene in Milford, CT.
- Hurricane Irene vs. Hurricane Gloria a Photo Compari...
A unique view of Hurricane Irene's impacts in Milford, Ct compared to Hurricane Gloria in 1985 through photographs.
Were you impacted?
Were you impacted by any of these weather events? (if more than one pick the one with the greatest impact)See results without voting
Top Ten Weather Events of 2011
- January 25-27, 2011 North American blizzard: This was a impressive blizzard on top of two-three weeks of storms that had hit the same area. Many spots from Washington D.C. to Boston saw a foot to a foot and a half of snow in a matter of hours! Add in that there was already any where from 1 foot to 2 feet of snow already on the ground and you have some impressive snow cover! Read more and see photos here: Extreme Weather Series: Once in a 100 year snow cover: Connecticut, January 2011.
- Tuscaloosa Tornado April 27, 2011: This was the fist of many devastating tornadoes to hit within the United States this year. Read more about this EF4 tornado and see amazing videos here: Top Weather Events 2011: Tornadoes
- Joplin Tornado May 22, 2011: Less then a month after the devastating tornado in Alabama came an even stronger storm in Joplin, Missouri. This time it was an EF5 and destroyed 25% of the city while damaging 75% of the city. Read more about this monstrous event and see videos here: Top Weather Events 2011: Tornadoes
- Springfield Tornado June 1, 2011: The tornadoes kept hitting downtown areas, this time Springfield, MA. A place many don't expect to see a tornado yet it was crossed right over the Connecticut River into Downtown Springfield. Although not as strong as the Tuscaloosa or Joplin Tornadoes, this one did reach EF3 status. Read more and see amazing video of the tornado here: Top Weather Events 2011: Tornadoes
- 2011 Mississippi River Floods: In the same months as the heartland was dealing with tornadoes they also were dealing with the rain. In the months of May and June the Mississippi River flooded to levels that haven't been seen since the 1993 flood and the 1929 flood. Due to weeks of heavy rain in the mid west and snow melt north farther north, the banks of the Great Mississippi couldn't not contain the waters. This cresting river even resulted in the opening of the Morganza Spillway for the first time in 37 years on May 14, 2011 to save the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans from high water. See video below.
- Texas Drought 2011: While just to the east along Mississippi River the mantra was water, water everywhere, Texas was in a hot and dry drought. This drought is still going on and seems to be getting worse. Over the summer not only did Texas see no rain, temperatures also skyrocketed creating a dangerous double punch. It is estimated that billions of dollars of crops have been lost this year in Texas. Ponds, lakes, and reservoirs are at all time lows with areas that once were 10 feet underwater now growing vegetation. Even a tropical storm, which usually is a drought buster, couldn't penetrate this dome of heat over Texas. Tropical Storm Don hit the Texas coast and literally vanished due to the dry air. See video below of a news report out of Texas about the drought.
- Hurricane Irene August 28, 2011: If you were in the United States the last week of August then you have heard about Hurricane Irene. The storm was a category 3 storm at it's strongest, making it a major Hurricane. This storm threatened many along the east coast and made landfall in North Carolina and again in New Jersey and Long Island. The storm had the potential to be historic for the city of New York but spared the city a lot of damage. However the storm broke records in Connecticut and other areas of New England. See my own experiences with the storms in the link box below tilted Hurricane Irene Links.
- Vermont Flooding (as result of Hurricane Irene): Although the flooding in Vermont was a result of Hurricane Irene moving up through New England, the surprise and devastation caused deserves it's own listing. Many in Vermont were not prepared for the flooding the storm would bring. Many communities were cut off from every one. Many historic cover bridges that stood for close to 200 years were washed away.
- Summer/fall 2011 East Coast Flooding: Along with Irene the months of August and September were just extreme wet in the Eastern United states from Philadelphia to Maine. Rivers were flooded for weeks, roads washed way in the Catskills. Now that we are ending the year many locations in the Northeast are breaking all time precipitation records for the year. Some are even smashing them!
- Snowtober 2011 (2011 Halloween Nor'Easter): The latest extreme weather happened in the end of October, the weekend before Halloween. A freak snowstorm dropped up to 20 inches of snow in many parts of New England. This was unheard of before this storm and due to the leaves still being on the trees power outages blanketed the landscape with the snow. Many in Connecticut didn't see power for a week to 10 days, sadly these were the same people who didn't have power for a week after Hurricane Irene. In Connecticut alone Snowtober and Hurricane Irene are numbers 1 and 2 for largest power outages in the state and they were two months apart! The third largest power outage was from Hurricane Gloria 25 years ago, which stood till August 2011. Read more about Snowtober and see some of my photos here: Extreme Weather Series: Snowtober October 29, 2011, the First Flakes!
How to help? Donate!
- American Red Cross: Donate Funds
The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and keep people safe every day thanks to caring people who support our work. Please support your local Red Cross.
- FEMA: Helping Others
How to help after disasters, this links shows you what you can do through FEMA.
- Working to Reduce Poverty in America - Catholic Charities USA
The Catholic church as an organization to help those in need especially after a disaster, check out their website for more information.
More by this Author
A brief summary of the great new england hurricane of 1938, followed by a first hand account, video, postcard and books all about the hurricane.
A brief discussion of the difference of hail and sleet. Includes how hail and sleet form and under what atmospheric conditions, also includes extreme videos of hail events. Written in response to misuse of these weather...
A brief review of three great places to track tropical storms and hurricanes.