A Review of the Weather in 2011

 

 

- A Review of the Weather in 2011 -

The following is a summary of significant weather events of 2011 which impacted south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. The summary includes our 'Top Picks' for significant weather events throughout 2011, as well as temperature and precipitation data for the Tri-Cities (Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney), record information, tornado data, as well as highlighted weather stories and events.



Top Weather Highlights:

Hydrology:  Platte River Ice Jams

Ice jams along the Platte River were a common theme starting during the latter part of December 2010, and lasting during early 2011.  Water levels were higher along the Platte River compared to recent years, and periods of cold and warm weather caused the ice jams to migrate west during the cold winter months, and then the ice jams shifted east as temperatures warmed and ice began to break up.  The ice jams caused areas of lowland flooding from Buffalo and Kearney Counties, east to Merrick and Polk Counties.  While the Platte River saw more widespread ice jamming and flooding, the Loup River in Nance County also experienced ice jam issues in February. (photo by Bob Carey:  Platte River ice jam near the Hwy 92 bridge near Clarks, NE)
Ice Jam along the Platte River.
 



Uprooted tree in Grand Island. Wind:  May 30, 2011 - Memorial Day Squall Line

Memorial Day itself was extremely windy across south central Nebraska and north central Kansas ahead of an approaching upper level disturbance and cold frontal boundary, and southerly wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph were common.  Thunderstorms developed along the rapidly moving cold front during the evening and night, and produced widespread damaging straight line winds of 60 to 90 mph.  Wind measurements include 90 mph in Lexington, 83 mph in Ord, and 68 mph in Aurora.  The winds damaged an airport hangar in Ord, uprooted trees, damaged buildings, and derailed a train. (photo by Hall County Emergency Management:  uprooted tree in Grand Island, NE on Koenig Street)


Tornadoes:  June 20, 2011

An active tornado day unfolded across the central plains during the afternoon and evening hours on June 20th, with twelve tornadoes setting down across south central Nebraska and north central Kansas.  The strongest tornadoes, rated EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, occurred near Amherst, NE, and between Polk and Osceola, NE.  Four tornadoes were rated EF2 (Elm Creek, Bradshaw, Hampton, Rockville).  Three were rated EF1 (Long Island, KS, Stamford, North Loup), and three were rated EF0 (Farwell, Pleasanton, Elm Creek).  (photo by Noah Lock: tornado between Hampton and Bradshaw, NE)
Tornado on June 20th between Hampton and Bradshaw.



Large hail in Zurich. Hail:  August 9, 2011

Intense severe thunderstorms developed across north central Kansas as an upper level disturbance crossed the area.  The severe storms were confined to Phillips, Rooks and Osborne counties where hail from golfball to baseball to softball size hail fell.  In addition to the hail, strong winds snapped power poles and damaged crops south of Alton. (photo by Lou Johnson:  large hail in Zurich) 


 


Tornado Summary 

The 2011 tornado season saw eight days with tornadoes, with a total of 25 tornadoes affecting south central Nebraska and north central Kansas.  June 20th proved to be the most active tornado day of the season when there were 12 tornadoes.  The strongest tornadoes on June 12th, rated EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, occurred near Amherst, NE, with the second between Polk and Osceola, NE.  Four tornadoes were rated EF2 (Elm Creek, Bradshaw, Hampton, Rockville), three EF1's (Long Island, Stamford, North Loup), and three EF0's (Farwell, Pleasanton, and west of Elm Creek).  May 11-12th were also active tornado days, with two EF1's occurring on May 11th (near Hordville and Osceola).

Map of tornadoes across north central Kansas and south central Nebraska in 2011.
Map of Tornado Touchdowns in 2011.



2011 Individual Tornado Information
- South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas-


Date Location Path Length
Path Width
(max)
Rating Injuries Deaths
May 11 7SW Ayr, NE 0.14 mile 25 yards EF0 0 0
May 11 6.1SSE Hordville, NE 2.32 miles 200 yards EF1 0 0
May 11

1.4S Osceola, NE to
0.9 NNE Osceola, NE

0.10 mile 75 yards EF1 0 0
May 12 4.7E Giltner, NE to
4.6 ENE Giltner, NE
0.82 mile 75 yards EF0 0 0
May 12 2.4W Stromsburg, NE to
1.7W Stromsburg, NE
0.74 mile 30 yards EF0 0 0
May 12 4.5WNW Stromsburg, NE 0.99 30 yards EF0 0 0
May 19 0.4W Natoma, KS 0.12 mile 25 yards EF0 0 0
May 30 2.1NW Cozad, NE to
1.9 NW Cozad, NE
0.36 mile 25 yards EF0 0 0
June 1 0.9SE Woodruff, KS to
1.3 ESE Woodruff, KS
0.46 mile 20 yards EF0 0 0
June 1 2.6W Lexington, NE to
2.5W Lexington, NE
0.10 mile 15 yards EF0 0 0
June 14 4.5N Archer, NE to
4.8NNE Archer, NE
0.54 mile 25 yards EF0 0 0
June 20 5.1W Long Island, KS to
4.1NW Long Island, KS
3.63 miles 100 yards  EF1 0 0
June 20 8.4S Stamford, NE to
4.0N Stamford, NE
12.50 miles 100 yards EF1 0 0
June 20 6SSW Elm Creek, NE to
0.7SW of Elm Creek, NE
4.84 miles 300 yards EF0 0 0
June 20 1.4WNW Elm Creek, NE to
3.6N Elm Creek, NE
4 miles 440 yards EF2 1 0
June 20 5SW Amherst, NE to
4N Amherst, NE
10 miles 1320 yards EF3 0 0
June 20 3SE Pleasanton, NE to
2NE Pleasanton, NE
3.61 miles 50 yards EF0 0 0
June 20 5.2SW Rockville, NE to
3.8WSW Rockville, NE
2.50 miles 200 yards EF2 0 0
June 20 5WSW Farwell, NE 0.10 mile 50 yards EF0 0 0
June 20 5.0SSW Hampton, NE to
4.4NNE Hampton, NE
9.43 miles 440 yards EF2 0 0
June 20 5S North Loup, NE to
4S North Loup, NE
1 mile 100 yards EF1 0 0
June 20 4SW Bradshaw, NE to
4SE Polk, NE
15.26 miles 440 yards EF2 0 0
June 20 4E Polk, NE to
6WNW Osceola, NE
9.49 miles 880 yards EF3 0 0
July 13 4SW Upland, NE 0.10 mile 25 yards EF0 0 0
July 13 5SE Upland, NE 0.10 mile 25 yards EF0 0 0

 

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