2011 Tornado Outbreaks: Five Years Later

April 4-5 April14-16 April 25-28 April 8-11 April 19-24 May 22-27

The tornadoes of 2011 were unprecedented, causing death and destruction in more than a dozen states from the Central Plains and Missouri, throughout the southeast and as far north as Massachusetts. In total, 553 people lost their lives, making it the deadliest year since 1936. In 2011, 1,691 tornadoes occurred in the U.S. The average number of tornadoes in a year is 1,253.

In spite of timely and accurate forecasts and warnings, NOAA recognized that too many lives were lost. Following an intensive review, NOAA created the Weather–Ready Nation initiative, designed to improve the nation's response to severe weather forecasts and warnings. This effort continues today as NOAA works to build a Weather–Ready Nation, one that is prepared for extreme weather, water, and climate events.

Click on the dates below for an overview of the outbreaks.

What You Can Do

You’re not powerless in the face of extreme weather. Be a Force of Nature with severe weather preparedness advice from the National Weather Service. Check your weather forecast daily on weather.gov to make sure you’re prepared for whatever the day may bring.