The 2011 Tornado Season in Historical Perspective

  • Kevin M. Simmons
  • Daniel Sutter


The 2011 tornado year started while champagne corks were still popping to celebrate the new year when an EF-31 tornado touched down near Bayette in Attala County, Mississippi, at two minutes past midnight. The first killer tornado of the year occurred on February 1 when an EF-2 tornado struck Franklin County, Tennessee. Through the end of March the tornado season had been relatively benign, with 152 tornadoes and 2 fatalities nationwide, compared with averages of 193 and 27, respectively, through March of the three previous years. Little or no hint had been given that the United States was about to experience a record-breaking month in April and the deadliest tornado day since 1925.


Fatality Total Death Toll Mobile Home Doppler Weather Radar National Weather Service 
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  1. Brooks, H.E., and C.A. Doswell III, 2002: Deaths in the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma City Tornado from a Historical Perspective. Wea. Forecasting, 17, 354–361.Google Scholar

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© Kevin M. Simmons and Daniel Sutter 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. Simmons
  • Daniel Sutter

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