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Weather Decade in Review

With the first ten years of the new millenium about to close out, let's take a look back at the major weather events in the CONUS from 2000 on, along with general thoughts and impressions of the year's weather.

Post what you remember most about each year, weather-wise. This should generally be from memory with minimal research (to double-check a date or location name spelling on an event you remember, not get a complete list of yearly events off Wikipedia).

Noteworthy events can include specific tornadoes/outbreaks, derechos, overall impressions of the chase season, significant tropical cyclones, major winter storms, floods, and significant heat/cold/precipitation anamolies.

I'll start with what I remember (keep in mind I was 13 when the decade started, I hadn't yet discovered most of the wealth of weather information and history available on the Internet, and a lot of it didn't exist yet).

2000 - 3/28 Fort Worth and 5/17 Brady, NE tornadoes but overall chase season was pretty blah.

2001 - Most significant tornado events were Hoisington, KS, Siren, WI and the 9/24 mid-Atlantic outbreak. Spring chase season was not exceptional but fall season was fairly active with 10/9 tornadoes in Oklahoma and 10/24 Ohio Valley derecho and tornadoes.

2002 - Another relatively slow chase year, La Plata, MD on 4/28 and Happy, TX on 5/5 were the deadliest tornadoes of the spring. Major outbreak on November 10.

2003 - 1st 10 Days of May but otherwise quiet chase season until the late June events in SD/NE.

2004 - Very active mid to late May chase season, an active tropical season brought the infamous "Florida Four," Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

2005 - Chase season got off to a slow start until a flurry of activity in June made a great year for those chasers that could still be out there. Record Wisconsin tornado outbreak on 8/18 nearly hit my house. Absolutely astounding Atlantic tropical season brought a new catastrophe every week from late August through September, and a storm was still churning out there when the calendar rolled over to 2006. Unusually active November with numerous "Witch" type systems bringing winter storms on one side and deadly tornado outbreaks on the other.

2006 - Tornado season sucked on two counts with several destructive and deadly outbreaks during the period March 11 to April 7, then the activity dried up just in time for everybody's chase vacations.

2007 - Busy tornado season from late March through early May culminating in the incredible Greensburg event. Winter of 2007-08 was very snowy across the upper Midwest.

2008 - Another active tornado season, especially from late May through early June, including another EF5 at Parkersburg, IA. The repeated systems also contributed to record flooding across much of the upper Midwest in late spring, including Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and Illinois.

The tropical season was also active, with Hurricane Ike being the most significant US landfall.

A very snowy December in southern Wisconsin threatened the records set by the previous winter, until activity pretty much ceased with the onset off...

2009 - Will somebody hit the snooze alarm on this year please. It seems like you couldn't get active weather to save your life this year. A much below normal temperature anamoly has existed across the Midwest for essentially the entire summer from mid-June to now. Every day is pretty much the same, cool and sunny with fog in the morning. Great unless you like thunderstorms, which it has been far too dry for around here. Each system that promised something on the models has pretty much fizzled out when it actually arrived. While southern Wisconsin has been cool and dry, Illinois has been cool and wet.

The Atlantic tropical season isn't doing anything either, with Fred about to curve north and shear apart. I can't even armchair chase a hurricane this year.
2001- don't remember
2002- Tornado outbreak in Middle TN in November. Was working here but had not moved yet. Living in a camper in the middle of a field, I found out the true meaning of Rock and Roll. Did not see any tornadoes but did experience very strong winds.
2003-2005 don't remember
2006- April 7: I did my first successful storm chase as I intercepted the storm coming from Murfreesboro, TN that produced an F1 that killed two people in North Warren County. I returned to the house with a busted windshield and numerous dents. A few minutes later a tornado passed within 1/4 mile of our house killing a woman. My wife and I watched from the bedroom window as it passed, then ran to the front door and watched it go across the lake and hit the subdivision on the other side. The next day a crew from the Weather Channel was arrested filming in the wreckage of the deceased lady's house. BTW, we still find bits of pink and yellow insulation in odd places, especially in our trees.
2007- I was going to meet Reed Timmer in Oklahoma to chase, but decided to stop in Memphis on the way out to see the Allman Brothers at the Beale Street Music Festival. On May 4 he caught that awesome footage of the tornado in Ellis County, Oklahoma. That storm went on to produce the Greensburg tornado. My chase partners in MESO had the unfortunate experience of being caught off guard by that storm. I wish I had missed the Allman Brothers.
2008- February 5: I had to work so I did not chase but an outbreak here killed 37 people in Tennessee and 54 people altogether in MO, AR, KY, MS, and TN. I worked with the Red Cross in Castillian Springs providing emergency supplies to affected people. That storm was rated EF3.
April 8: I my second successful intercept in Giles County, TN. The tornado was a long track and ended up coming within 3 miles of our house. I could have used much less fuel and waited in Warren County.
2009- April 10: This day proved to me that chasing in TN is not advisable usually. I was on the storm that produced the EF4 that hit Murfreesboro but could not keep up with it due to the terrain, roads, and traffic. I did see another brief tornado but in my excitement I accidently hit the record button again and did not get any footage of it.
Although I was following the weather at the start of the decade, I wasn't actively chasing until 2003, so my views on the decade start then. My overall feeling from a chaser standpoint is that 2003 and 2004 were active years, 2005 and 2006 were inactive years, 2007 and 2008 were active years, and 2009 was inactive. I hope this doesn't mean 2010 is also going to be inactive. Even during the inactive years, however, there are a handful of good events that make for some good chasing so I'm not worried if 2010 turns out to be relatively quiet.

June 5: Did my first storm chase and saw a picturesque storm near Vici


May 5: Chased in the Texas Panhandle but missed the storm that produced the Happy tornado. Late in the evening we saw our first ever tornado (night tornado at that) near Seiling, OK.

May 7: Saw one of many tornados that occured in SW KS that day

May 8: Chased some supercells in KS on a day that could have brought some significant tornadoes.


May 4: Saw the Baxter Springs/Crestline, KS tornado

May 8: Chased some storms in SE KS but missed the tornadoes

May 9: Chased the storm that would go on to produce tornadoes in the OKC area after dark. Saw some large wall clouds

May 15: Chased a large storm in the Shamrock/Wheeler area. Got into a 60mph inflow jet with huge amounts of blowing dust. Got a nice LP earlier that evening


June 10: Chased some storms in western Nebraska

June 11: Saw 2 tornados near Fort Dodge, Iowa

June 12: Saw 3 tornadoes in the Mulvane and Rock, KS areas

June 13: Saw 2 tornadoes east of Lincoln from a surprise supercell that Mike Hollingshead was on


May 22: Chased some late evening storms around Wichita and got into hail at least 3 times, and took a baseball stone which caused a large dent that we still have to this day.

June 2: Chased storms in eastern Colorado but missed the massive mothership

June 4: Chased the eastern KS high risk and saw a couple of decent storms

2006: Just assume forget this year as our chasecation occured when NOTHING was going on


May 22: Chased the LP and classic supercell near Hill City/Wakeeny and saw the tornado

May 23: Chased HP beasts in the NE Texas panhandle.

May 24: The campground we stayed at in Salina flooded from several inches of rain the previous night and it got evacuated. LOL


May 22: Chased HP supercells in Kansas and saw what was probably a large dust shrouded tornado near Collyer as well as very impressive HP structure. I dont count that possible tornado as a catch as I'm not sure if there was one there or not. Lots of people got video of that area of dust though

May 23: Day of days for western Kansas. Saw the first 2 tornadoes near Quinter. Dropped south to the Ness City storm and saw a possible tornado north of Ness City. Missed the Quinter EF4 :(

May 24: Got on the northern OK storm late but saw 3 tornadoes including 2 at the same time near Orlando.

May 25: Supercells in western/central Kansas and saw the Bison tornado

May 29: Got one of the tornadoes that went through Kearney, and missed the tornado fest in northern Kansas. NOTE: we were staying in Salina at the time, so that made it suck even more. LOL

June 5: Saw some impressive strucutre on a high risk day

June 11: Impressive structure in Kansas but no naders

June 12: Chased the storms near I-35. Fled from a small, but intense HP and got a destroyed (not flat) tire on Bob's road. Chased some more that evening after we finally got the tire changed in the driving rain.
2000 - First out of state chase - saw first Oklahoma tornado on April 23rd near McAlester. Don't remember much else from this year....

2001 - Following suit, saw my first Kansas tornado on April 14th. A week before the Hoisington F4 on prom night. Don't remember much more until the Fall.

2002 - Failed chase vacation down south - missed the Throckmorton tornado by a day, also the Pratt, KS, May 7th area mini-outbreak.

2003 - 2004 - 25 chases each year including numerous Illinois intercepts such a great year.... missed out on the majority of the bigger Plains outbreaks, but Illinois rewarded me. Man I miss those years.

2005 - I think there were a total of 19 tornadoes in Illinois all year .... 'nuff said

2006 - Illinois set a record for tornadoes this year with 140+ - (This guy) saw ZILCH including a tornado-producing supercell near downtown Chicago when I was lolly-gagging down state in September.

2007 - Chased like once because was swamped with school work and college. Always remember Greensburg and Arnett.

2008 - Late May and Early June more than made this year worth it for me.

2009 - Good April and June other than that..... psssh not even a good LOCAL storm.