Across much of the United States, the 2011-2012 winter season was
unusal. Instead of heavy snow, most areas saw warmer-than-normal temperatures.
In January, more than 1,000 high temperature records were broken. It was also
an unseasonably dry winter.
But with the warm winter temperatures marked an early severe
weather season. January was an unusually active month. The first major tornado
outbreak happened on January 22 and 23, when a spring like storm system came
into the southern Mississippi Valley and several tornadoes were confirmed in
Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. This event produced at
least 23 tornadoes.
A late-winter tornado outbreak pounded several states on
Wednesday, February 29th. Communities in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska,
Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee felt the impact of storms that spawned at least
20 tornadoes. Six people died in Illinois, three in Missouri and three in
Tennessee. Branson, Missouri was hit by an EF2 tornado, while one of the
hardest hit areas was in Harrisburg, Illinois where an EF4 tornado left a path
On Friday, March 2nd, another strong storm system moved through
the Midwest and South spawning deadly tornadoes. The latest count included 19
dead in Kentucky, 14 in Indiana, three in Ohio and one each in Alabama and
Georgia. Tornadoes also were reported in Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois,
North Carolina, and Virginia. In Henryville, Indiana, the storm cut a wide
swath, destroying homes and businesses in its path. The National Weather
Service said one of the two tornadoes that went through the Henryville area had
winds of about 175 mph, making it an EF4. Debris from Henryville was found 68