2011 was the deadliest year for tornadoes in modern history. The year was incredibly active and shattered many records and because of this I have some amazing catches that came with some very dark aspects of chasing. Things happened this year that will leave permanent memories both good and bad.
March 22nd – IA

First chase of the season offers a tornado I failed to document and a barrage of hail in the dreaded state of Iowa.
April 3rd – IA

A strong cap gives way to explosive development, resulting in beautiful structure and some good looking wall clouds as storms are forced to work with an overall environment not favorable for torndaoes.
April 9th – IA

An outbreak of tornadoes rakes Iowa with most of them being at night including several large wedge tornadoes. Also documented some intense gustnadoes, large hail, fires and damage. This chase basically had it all.
April 14th -OK

A Murphy’s Law type chase for me on a day that saw some significant tornadoes rake southern Oklahoma.
April 15th – IL

A cold core setup offers a unique chase opportunity in my home state on the way home from the previous days chase. Saw a nice funnel cloud that may have been a tornado along with some decent structure.
April 19th – IL

An amazing chase. Caught a beautiful, strong tornado crossing I-55! Read it!
April 22nd – MO

A chaotic chase. Large hail and a tornado moves through the St Louis metro area inflicting EF-4 damage as our vehicle gets slammed with tree debris from the inflow!
April 26th – AR

Ah the April 26th High risk curse for me lives on. Attempted to chase in the difficult state of Arkansas and got into good position early on but quickly lost storm, coming up short with anything noteworthy from the day.
April 27th -AL

A deadly outbreak. Caught one monster tornado and a smaller tornado crossing I-65. Experienced a level of human impact from severe storms unlike any other on what will be the most significant outbreak of tornadoes for many years to come. This is one you won’t want to skip.
May 8th -NE

A cap bust on a day with marginal chances but spent with good company as always.
May 9th -SD
Another marginal setup this time yields an intense hail core along with a possible tornado after dark.
May 11th – KS/CO

What was supposed to be a big day turned into a marginal cold core gamble. Sampled more hail cores along with some cold storm structure but at least they were during the day.
May 12th – NE

Chased cold core setup for a second day, this time in Nebraska with pretty storm structure and a weak landspout tornado.
May 19th – KS

Over hyped moderate risk setup turns into a grunge fest with no real prize to be had.
May 20th – KS

Low probability chase gives us some of the most gorgeous backside storm structure I have ever witnessed.
May 21st – KS/MO

Day with very low probabilities turns out to be a good chase with an HP tornado and some hail up to golfball size.
May 22nd – IA

A decent midwest setup saw too many storms and veered flow but at least some brief supercell structure.
May 23rd – OK

Day before the day setup gives us a dying supercell near Oklahoma city that briefly had some nice structure.
May 24th – OK

Another significant high risk event, this time taking aim on traditional tornado alley. Documented an amazing tornado near the town of Canton, Oklahoma before moving to intercept another monster north of El Reno, came upon major devastation and called the chase off to assist in search and rescue. Read it…
May 25th – IL

Gentleman’s chase on the way home didn’t yield a whole lot other than some small hail and mediocre structure.
May 30th – NE

Linear forcing allows for only a brief window for tornadoes. Intercepted supercell before storms lined out noting gustnado and some very large hail.
June 19th – NE

Day before the day event gives us photogenic mean green HP structure and a tornado!
June 20th – NE

Outbreak of tornadoes yields a pair of twisters, one of them developing about 30 yards from us!!
June 21st – IL

Gentleman’s chase – stopped to photograph stunning structure on the back side of a tornado warned linear complex that produced widespread damage on Chicago’s Northwest side.
July 26th – SD

Summer gamble with a pair of film students gives us dramatic structure and a weak tornado in South Dakota!
November 7th – OK

Amazing supercell gives me not only my first, but at least 9 tornadoes! This is my best chase in 2011 so make sure you read this one! Incredible images and video!

Leave a Comment: