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2011 in Review | Extreme Weather

What a year 2011 was when it came to weather.  Blizzards, tornadoes, flooding, droughts and hurricanes.  Here is a photo journal through the extreme weather of 2011 shown in chronological order.  Geologic disasters (tsunami, earthquakes, etc) will be posted in a separate article, as well as the fires in the US Southwest (in which I live.)

Rising floodwaters spread through the low-lying suburb of Depot Hill in Rockhampton, in eastern Queensland on January 2, 2011. (MECHIELSEN LYNDON/AFP/Getty Images)


Rodney Dowton ferries a boatload of kangaroos through floodwaters near Wellington, Australia. (AP Photo/Lake Burrendong Sport and Recreation Centre, Tracy Woods)


A huge swath of the United States is affected by a winter storm that brought layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow, closing roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island in this February 1 satellite image. The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach threatened to leave about a third of the nation covered in harsh weather. Ice fell first and was expected to be followed by up to two feet of snow in some places. (NOAA/AP)


Trucks disappear into the snow as they travel along I-70 February 1 near Boonville, Mo. Potentially the worst winter storm to hit Missouri in decades began its trek across the state, dumping more than a foot of snow while delivering freezing rain, winds and dangerously cold temperatures. (L.G. Patterson/AP)


Hundreds of cars were abandoned on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago after a winter blizzard of historic proportions wobbled an otherwise snow-tough Chicago, stranding drivers for up to 12 hours overnight on February 2, 2011. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)


Snow accumulates in a truck that was stranded and left open on Lake Shore Drive February 2 in Chicago. A winter blizzard of historic proportions wobbled an otherwise snow-tough Chicago, stranding hundreds of drivers for up to 12 hours overnight on the city's showcase lakeshore thoroughfare and giving many city schoolchildren their first ever snow day. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)


The Quad Cities River Bandits and the Peoria Chiefs play a game April 20 inside Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa. T he rising flood waters of the Mississippi River surround the stadium which is protected by a flood wall. (Paul Colletti/The Dispatch/AP)


A tornado moves through Tuscaloosa April 27. (Dusty Compton/Tuscaloosa News/AP)


Overnight tornadoes left part of Pratt City, Alabama in ruins April 28. (Marvin Gentry/Reuters)


Cars stand submerged in overflow water from the Wolf River on McMiller Road in Memphis, Tenn. May 10, 2011. After weeks of rising to historic levels the Mississippi River reached a crest just shy of the forecast 48 feet at the Memphis gauge. "It's going to meander around that level for the next 24 to 36 hours," meteorologist Bill Borghoff said. "We're going to pretty much hold onto the crest for a while." (Mike Brown/Associated Press/The Commercial Appeal)


A levee protects a home surrounded by floodwater from the Yazoo River May 18 near Vicksburg, Miss. The flooded Mississippi River is forcing the Yazoo River to top its banks, and heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and have caused widespread flooding along the Mississippi River from Illinois to Louisiana. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Destroyed vehicles are piled on top of one another in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo. May 22. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)


A shelf cloud containing a thunderstorm approaches a tornado-ravaged neighborhood in Joplin, Mo. May 23. (Charlie Riedel/AP)


Residents of Joplin, Mo, walk west on 26th Street near Maiden Lane after a tornado hit the southwest Missouri city May 22. (Mike Gullett/AP)


Lightning strikes June 6th over the Puyehue volcano, over 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile. (Francisco Negroni/Associated Press/AgenciaUno)


On July 5th a historic dust storm, or haboob, approaches downtown Phoenix, AZ. The wall of dust, which was estimated to be 70 miles long and over a mile high, moved at speeds of 35mph and had gusts up to 60mph. (Mike Olbinski Photography)


A storm that produced 8-inch diameter hailstones bears down on Vivian, South Dakota July 23, 2010. (Chad Cowan)


Les and Deb Scott found a giant hailstone in Vivian, South Dakota July 23, 2010. (National Weather Service)


A weed grows out of the dry cracked bed of O.C. Fisher Lake on July 25 in San Angelo, TX. The 5,440 acre lake which was established to provide flood control and serve as a secondary drinking water source for San Angelo and the surrounding communities is now dry following an extended drought in the region. The lake which has a maximum depth of 58 feet is also used for boating, fishing and swimming. The San Angelo area has seen only 2.5 inches of rain this year. The past nine months have been the driest in Texas since record keeping began in 1895, with 75% of the state classified as exceptional drought, the worst level. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)


A landslide covers the street opposite the damaged apartment building in Seoul on July 27, 2011. (Jang Seung-Yoon/AFP/Getty Images)


Residents on a makeshift raft evacuate from a flooded area in Gwangju, South Korea on July 27, 2011. (Newsis/AP)


Pakistan Fllods. Onlookers perched on a damaged bridge watch a man use a rope to cross the river in Chakdara, Pakistan August 3, 2010. (AFP/Getty Images)


In this handout image provided by NOAA, Hurricane Irene churns of the coast of the Carolinas on August 26, 2011. (NOAA via Getty Images)


A group of sailors run through the streets of the nation's capital during pouring rain in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Irene on August 27, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)


Billy Stinson (left) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene Aug. 28 in Nags Head, NC. The cottage, built in 1903, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)


A surfer passes the broken end of the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. on August 28, 2011. Hurricane Irene spent 12 hours scouring the coast, killed at least five people, brought pockets of flooding that required rescues along the sounds, and left nearly a half-million customers without power. (John Rottet/The News & Observer/AP)


Floods in China. Policemen and residents run as waves from a tidal bore surge past a barrier on the banks of the Qiantang River in Haining, Zhejiang province Aug. 31. (China Daily/Reuters)


Flood water covers the roadway Sept. 9 in Bloomsburg, Pa., after remnants from tropical Storm Lee continued to produce heavy rain overnight. (Mel Evans/Associated Press)


Surging waves hit against the breakwater in Udono in a port town of Kiho, Mie Prefecture, central Japan, Sept. 21. A powerful typhoon was bearing down on Japan's tsunami-ravaged northeastern coast approaching a nuclear power plant crippled in that disaster and prompting calls for the evacuation of more than a million people.


Residents carry a pig down a flooded street during typhoon Nesat in San Mateo, Rizal, east of Manila on Sept. 27. Typhoon Nesat brought the Philippine capital to a near standstill with its vast rain band also flooding remote farms and vicious winds tearing roofs off buildings in coastal towns. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)


Indian villagers with their cattle cross flood waters on a boat at Kasimpurchak near Danapur Diara in Patna, India, Sept. 27. Monsoon rains destroyed mud huts and flooded wide swaths of northern and eastern India in recent days, leaving hundreds of thousands marooned by raging waters, officials said. (Aftab Alam Siddiqui/Associated Press)


People push their belongings through floodwaters during an evacuation from a flooded market in Bangkok October 24, 2011. (Sukree Sukplang/Reuters)


Floods in Bangkok. Thai residents make their way across a flooded street close to the rising waters of the Chao Phraya river on October 30, 2011 in Bangkok. (Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images)


Source for all picture: The Big Picture


      • Thanks for the tip on – I’ll also make a point of checking out your own photos soon, because I’d like to see them, but I want to see them when I’m not quite so worn out as I am now. It’s almost 12:30 AM here, and this cat is outta gas. Thanks for the information and entertainment today, and maybe I’ll catch ya tomorrow. Wishing you a restful night. – Chris

        • Thanks. You have a restful night, too. I do not have a lot of photos of my own on Motley Photos yet, since I just got my “real” camera in September. There are a little more than a dozen galleries, mainly of the local Occupy Movement. And some from our local urban legend… a haunted insane asylum. Just took those about a month ago. Some sets taken earlier with a point-and-shoot camera.

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