2011 A Record-Breaking Year For Oklahoma Weather - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

2011 A Record-Breaking Year For Oklahoma Weather

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Drivers maneuver through the snow during the February blizzard. Drivers maneuver through the snow during the February blizzard.
Damage in Joplin after a tornado tore through the community in May. Damage in Joplin after a tornado tore through the community in May.
Just days after the Joplin tornado, a tornadoes tore through western Oklahoma. Just days after the Joplin tornado, a tornadoes tore through western Oklahoma.
SkyNews9 captures flames from an Oklahoma wildfire. SkyNews9 captures flames from an Oklahoma wildfire.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma was frozen, flooded, blown around, shaken and baked; all ending with the worst drought in decades.

As January drew to a close, a monster winter storm closed in. The first round buried parts of the Tulsa metro area in as much as 21-inches of snow. The wind created blizzard conditions and brought the region to a standstill.

2/1/2011 Related Story: Blizzard Brings Record Snowfall To Tulsa

To add insult to injury several more rounds of snow followed, bringing the official total in Tulsa to an unprecedented 26.1 inches. Streets and highways were closed, roofs collapsed, and people were stranded for weeks.

Records were shattered left and right. Nowata set the state's all-time low temperature at a mind-numbing, bone-chilling 31 degrees below zero.

Spring brought some record flooding in far eastern Oklahoma along the Illinois River, but last spring will be remembered mostly for the deadly tornado outbreaks.

Dixie Alley, which is the southern part of the U.S., saw the first major outbreak of the season, killing hundreds around Tuscaloosa, Alabama. That put Oklahomans on alert and on May 22, it came.

Just across the Missouri border, an EF-5 tornado roared through Joplin, cutting a destructive path through the community and killing more than 160 people.

5/23/2011 Related Story: A Third Of Joplin Gone After Tornado Ravages City

Just to the southwest, here in Oklahoma, tornadoes damaged lakeside communities on Grand Lake.

Just days later, western Oklahoma got hit hard. One of several violent tornadoes struck the communities of Piedmont, El Reno, and Guthrie, killing nine along a 65-mile damage path. It was the first EF-5 tornado to hit Oklahoma in a dozen years.

5/25/2011 Related Story: Death Toll Rises To 9 In Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

Severe spring weather gave way to the hottest summer in Oklahoma history books. 10 record highs were set in Tulsa, reaching a scorching 113 degrees on August 4th. It devastated crops, pushed ranchers and cattle to the breaking point and strained city power and water supplies.

It was a miserable hot, dry summer and all the vegetation pretty much turned into kindling. Pawnee County was one of the locations in which fires erupted, pushing firefighter teams to the limit: 290,000 acres of Oklahoma land were charred by wildfires in 2011.

The financial toll from the fires is in the millions of dollars in lost homes, buildings and other property.

The fires were bad enough but the long term drought conditions have cost the state over $1 billion in lost crops, lost cattle, and lost business, especially at lakeside marinas.

Just when we thought we'd seen it all, the largest earthquake in Oklahoma history – a 5.6 magnitude – struck our state in November. Several other tremors were felt during this time.

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