Texas Tops 10 States Ravaged by Extreme Weather in 2011
No. 7 Kansas
Heat, drought, hail and tornados all plagued KS this summer with total damage costs exceeding $4 billion. Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers.
The massive heat wave and drought that devastated Texas and Oklahoma didn’t hit Kansas quite as hard, but it was bad enough to help push the Jayhawk State into the top 10 this year. By midsummer, much of the southwestern part of the state was suffering under “exceptional drought” conditions — it ended up being the ninth driest year ever recorded — and by year’s end, there was still no relief in sight. Wichita had more 100-degree-plus days than any year on record, beating out even the Dust Bowl summer of 1936.
As of May, the state had seen unusually few tornadoes, but that didn’t last: powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes and punishing hail swept the state in June, July and August. To top it all off, a 5.6-intensity earthquake struck on November 5. The quake didn’t cause much damage, but combined agricultural losses from the heat and drought topped $4 billion.