2011 Spring Tornado Outbreaks

The tornadoes that occurred during the spring of 2011 were deadly, record-setting, and heart-breaking. Below we have listed the most significant outbreaks, along with links and information, and some of NSSL's research products that have been used in assessing the outbreaks.

April 16, 2011

Thirty tornadoes were confirmed across the Carolinas and Virginia on April 16, 2011 causing 26 fatalities and 371 injuries.

April 22, 2011

On April 22, 2011, two supercell thunderstorms crossed the St. Louis metropolitan area bringing large hail, strong winds, and five tornadoes, including one ranked EF4. The worst damage occurred when the tornado hit the Lambert St. Louis International Airport. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.

April 25–28, 2011

During a 4-day period from April 25-28, 2011, more than 200 tornadoes occurred in a five southeastern states. The deadliest part of the outbreak was on April 27, when a total of 122 tornadoes resulted in 319 deaths. The event was one of the deadliest since formal record keeping began in 1950.

May 22, 2011

Devastating tornadoes hit southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri on this Sunday afternoon. The city of Joplin, Mo., experienced an EF5 tornado that destroyed a significant amount of the city and left 158 people dead. The Joplin tornado is the deadliest single tornado since 1950. The deadliest tornado on record in the U.S. was on March 18, 1925. The “Tri-State Tornado” (MO, IL, IN) had a 291 mile path, was rated F5 based on a historical assessment, and caused 695 fatalities.

May 24, 2011

Deadly tornadoes tore through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas claiming 18 additional lives. Several of these tornadoes received ratings of EF-5.

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