My Top 4 Weather Events For 2011

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The year was certainly marked by extreme weather across the country. For the 1st time ever there were 12 different billion dollar+ disasters across the USA.  It’s possible that because of all the damage done by the Halloween snowstorm in the NE part of the country that it may be the 13th. They’re still adding up those costs.

This shattered the previous record of 9 set back in 2008 and 8 set back in 1998. All told, damages related to just this 12 events totals over $53 billion. When all the other events are tallied that didn’t reach this criteria, it’s very possible that this will end up being the 3rd costliest year for weather events in our history. the most expensive was 2005 (Katrina). Over 1000 people in this country were killed because of weather events this year.

Here are the events from NOAA…

Groundhog Day blizzard »
January 29-February 3, 2011
Tornado IconMidwest/Southeast tornadoes »
April 4-5, 2011
Tornado IconSoutheast/Midwest tornadoes »
April 8-11, 2011
Tornado IconMidwest/Southeast tornadoes »
April 14-16, 2011
Tornado IconSoutheast/Ohio Valley/Midwest tornadoes »
April 25-28, 2011
Tornado IconMidwest/Southeast tornadoes »
May 22-27, 2011
Storm IconMidwest/Southeast tornadoes and severe weather »
June 18-22, 2011
Heat IconSouthern Plains/Southwest drought and heatwave »
Spring-Fall, 2011
Flood IconMississippi River flooding »
Spring-Summer, 2011
Flood IconUpper Midwest flooding »
Summer 2011
Hurricane IconHurricane Irene »
August 20-29, 2011
Fire IconTexas, New Mexico, Arizona wildfires »
Spring-Fall 2011

When I asked our bloggers and FB friends their feelings about what I considered our viewing area’s Top 4 Events, many wanted to include the Joplin tornado. This is understandable because of us watching everything they went through. If the list took into account the regional view, obviously this single event would be #1.

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I wanted, however to keep this focused to our viewing area…and when you look at everything that happened nationwide, our area, in a sense actually got off OK. That’s not to say we didn’t have our fair share of interesting weather. It seemed the extremes were more temperature related, with prolonged periods of cold (JAN-FEB) and heat (JULY-AUG). It was a very wet spring followed by a bone dry (SEPT-OCT). As we finish off the year, we seemingly can’t find a snowflake.

There certainly were some big events that happened though close to home and when putting together a Top 4 list it can be difficult to rank them. For example if your community was the one devastated by the spring MO River flooding, you’d say that was easily the biggest event. After looking through the FB comments and blog thoughts, it seems some agree and many have a different order for things which is always interesting to me. So I tried to look at the big view of this which can be difficult to do…so without further ado, let’s get into it. The links provided give more information about the events themselves.

#4) May 25th-The Sedalia Tornado and the KC Funnel Clouds and even a brief touchdown or two. On the heels of the devastating Joplin tornado that occurred a few days before killing 161 people, our residents awareness for tornados was in a heightened state. The Sedalia tornado was rated as an EF2 with winds approaching 135 MPH. It destroyed some 65 homes and 2 trailer parks.

3) Devastating Springtime Flooding This event was mainly felt along the MO River upstream from the KC Metro. It’s effects tough trickled down towards the Parkville area as well as some of the creeks and rivers that feed into the MO River and got “backed up” through parts of MO away from the immediate river itself. Created by a series of late winter heavy snowstorms, followed by intense spring and early summer rainfall, flooding was widespread through the basin north of the KC area up through the Dakota’s.

2) Severe T/Storms on April 3rd I actually considered this as the #1 event but decided that my #1 event impacted more people. This was a series of severe storms that seemed to really hit the southern portions of JOCO and JACO hardest with large hail. 1000s of homes were damaged and roofers are still trying to finish redoing all the roofs that were pummeled by hail as large as, if not bigger, than baseballs. In terms of scope, I think this was one of the largest hailstorms to do serious damage that we’ve seen in my time here. Also final $ totals will probably exceed 100 Million in damage. One large insurance company easily paid over $25 million in claims.

#1) The Excessive Winter Snowfall highlighted by the February Blizzard, which was one of several nasty winter storms that pounded the region during the winter season. It ended with a thud in March but for those 2 months, 17+” in JAN and 16+” in FEB it was intense. The city was essentially closed down for a couple of days and schools were out for almost a week or so. In terms of coverage, this storm had it all…wind, intense snow, deep drifting…it was impressive.

That February Blizzard though was one for the books…the state of MO declared a State Of Emergency. I-70 and I-44 were closed down to travel to prevent cars from being stranded and people from needing to be rescued. It was a well forecasted storm but still the effects were something to see!

If you include the month of December, it was our 2nd snowiest meteorological winter in our weather history.

Certainly an interesting year for KC and a nasty year for the nation as a whole. Who knows what 2012 will bring!

Happy New Year!


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