Well the 2011 season looks to be coming to a close for us and it was a good one with a record low amount of chasing but a solid number of tornadoes considering. A lot of first including my first Iowa tornado and my first solo tornadoes in another state. Below are some stats on the year and the best pictures of the year.
2011 Storm Chase Stats:
Chase Days: 4
States Chased: NE, IA, KS, OK
Tornado Days: 2 (April 9, May 24)
Strongest Tornado: EF3 (April 9-Mapleton, IA & May 24-Canton, OK)
Bust Days: 2 (April 14, May 11)
Overall Rating: 5/10
April 9 - The first chase of the season took us to NW Iowa where we bagged a large dusty EF3 tornado that did significant damage to the small town of Mapleton, IA.
April 14 - Was a solo chase that took me to the KS/OK border where my hestitation cost me a tornado near Burbank, OK and too much storm interaction killed the rest of the day. All I was able to muster was some brief supercell structure near Hominy, OK.
May 11 - Unexpected morning convection over the TX Panhandle moved into the target area destroying the day and I knew that would be the case but still went out hoping that maybe there could be enough destabilization in the wake of the storms but that was not the case. Major bust in SW Kansas.
May 24 - The chase of the year took me to Oklahoma for a major High risk chase day. I was solo and a bad road option cost me most of the Canton wedge with just a short view of the last few minutes of the tornado south of Longdale. I was able to redeem myself with a few more weak tornadoes followed by a beautiful rope tornado south of Fairview that gave my best tornado photos I have ever taken!
June 10-12 - Myself and a few friends went down to Joplin over the weekend to assist with disaster relief. The devastation was unbelievable only comparable to what I saw in Greensburg but over a larger more populated area. We assisted with food distribution to tornado victims as well as field work removing and sort through debris. It was one of the more memorable experiences of my life.