Top 10 Weather Events for 2011

With 2011 coming to an end I put together my annual top ten weather events that have had a significant impact on the Western Carolinas. I will start with the beginning of the year and work my way to the end. The order is chronological and not intend to be rank by severity or impacts. These are just the top ten weather events for the year.


January 10-11th Snow & Ice Storm:


This was the the highest impact winter storm of 2011 which followed the coldest and snowiest December the region had seen since the late 70s. The combination of .25” of ice with 4-8” of snow made for hazardous travel for days. Many neighborhood streets stayed icy for a week or more.


The Great Derecho of April 4-5th, 2011:

How could you forget this as 90-110 mph winds knocked down trees & power lines across the region. At one point most of Charlotte was in the dark and I-485 was shut down all day on the 5th to clear power lines that had fallen across the interstate near Carolina Place mall. This was the beginning of a very stormy April which had 4 of the top 10 weather events of the year just in that month! One of the most amazing pictures was sent to me from Duke Power below where high power transmission towers were completely flatted. You can read more here.

April 9 mega Hail storm:


Gaston, York, Chester & Lancaster county go slammed with back to back to back super cells that produced baseball size hail. My blog post on that weekend.


Carolina Tornado Outbreak April 16th, 2011:

20110416.tornado (1)

This is now the standard bearing for tornado outbreaks in the North Carolina. This surpassed the March 1984 outbreak to become the biggest in state history. You can read more about this outbreak and see pictures and video from the Raleigh tornado in my previous blog post here.


Tail end of the Super Outbreak April 28th, 2011:


This outbreak was a record breaking for Alabama but the remnants of this system affect the Western Carolinas early the next morning. Several tornadoes touchdown between 3-5 am the next day here in the Carolinas. Here’s a look back at the impacts around here from the NWS down in Greenville-Spartanburg.


Summer Heat of 2011:


Why we didn’t set many record highs we did have some of the highest Heat Index values ever recorded around here during the summer of 2011. As hot as it felt the summer of 2010 was actually hotter and was the second hottest on record.  You can read more about this summers heat here.


August Charlotte Floods:

More than 70 buildings were damaged in Friday’s flooding, the worst in Charlotte-Mecklenburg in nearly three years. The flooding affected more than 100 homes, sometimes damaging air conditioners or other outside structures but not the house itself. Click here for my blog post.



This one almost didn’t make the list because it was so isolated and confined to South Carolina. North Carolina actually ended up above normal with rainfall while just a few counties away extreme drought persist till this day. The strong La Nina was and is still the main reason conditions remain in drought across South Carolina.


Rock Hill Tornado:

This is the second borderline EF-3 tornado I have seen since living in the Charlotte area. This is also the deadliest tornado we have had in the past 10 years. You can read more in these blog posts.


Hurricane Irene:

Irene didn’t impact the western Carolina but it was the only Hurricane to strike the U.S. this year and that was in the Outer Banks. Read more in my blog post here. While all the action was here in the Carolina the national media was fixated with New York and a glorified rain storm that they received.


What do you think? Did I miss any or would you have added more let me know in the comments section below.