Severe Weather Season 2011: Texoma Summary

Below is a look back at the most widespread or damaging weather events in Texoma during the spring of 2011; smaller hail or wind events are not covered.

The first major severe weather outbreak of 2011 in Texoma was also the most destructive and tragic. On April 14th, an intense Supercell formed in Murray County near Sulphur and was tracked by storm chaser Doug Drace is it moved eastward. It never produced a tornado, so as that storm weakened Doug headed south on highway 377 to intercept a second developing tornadic storm.

This one produced a tornado for about 10 minutes in between Madill and Tishomingo. It was later rated as an EF1 with winds of about 100mph. The storm moved ENE, weakened slightly, and then rapidly spun up into the Tushka tornado at about 7:20 pm. This Doppler 12 image is from the 7:20 scan:


The National Weather Service (NWS) rated this tornado to EF3 with 150mph winds. It killed 2 people and injured 43 more, destroyed the high school and over 100 other homes and buildings. A much weaker EF0 tornado with winds of about 80 mph passed through Honey Grove in Fannin County later that evening: several homes and outbuildings were damaged but without any human casualties.

Nine days later (April 23), a Supercell formed in Cooke County and began producing golfball to baseball sized hail from Lindsay to Callisburg. A tornado warning was issued as the storm tracked eastward along Highway 82 into Grayson County. A very brief tornado touched down near Sadler, TX with no damage reported from it. Quite a lot of hail damage was observed around Gainesville, mainly to automobiles.

The next major severe event came just a week later on a Sunday morning. The NWS says that 90 to 100 mph straight-line winds blasted through Denison around 6:00 a.m. May 1 along an unseasonably strong cold front. A church steeple was destroyed, numerous large signs were mangled, roofs were damaged, and trees and power lines were blown over. Some insist this was a tornado but the radar signature and actual damage pattern show it as very intense straight-line winds. The NWS also says it was unlikely to be a tornado.

A bow-echo wind event raked Texoma on May 11th. A solid line of thunderstorms moved through between 2 and 6pm with widespread reports of winds in the 60-70mph range. Several buildings were damaged around Whitesboro. The National Weather Service says a brief EF0 tornado in the Lake Kiowa area of Cooke County was responsible for roof and tree damage there. This tornado was on the ground less than a mile and had winds to about 75mph. Signs and trees were blown down along with (another) church steeple in Denison, and damage was also reported near Boswell in Choctaw County from straight-line winds.

A tornadic Supercell visited Murray and Pontotoc Counties May 21, producing at least 11 separate tornadoes. Amazingly, none of these struck a populated area. KXII Storm Chaser Doug Drace captured an image of the last tornado that night as it tracked north of Ada: 


A hailstorm took place in Carter County the very next night on May 22. Hail to grapefruit size broke out car windows in Lone Grove. Baseball hail was also reported that same night in Springer and Dougherty, OK.

The 2011 storm season’s parting shot came May 24th when several violent Supercells rolled across the region. Winds to 90mph damaged at least 70 structures in Ringling, probably from straight-line winds. A confirmed tornado touched down 4 miles west of Muenster in Cooke County but lasted only a short time and produced no damage. That same Supercell went on to produce a much larger tornado north of Ravia at 7:30 p.m. Power lines were brought down but no buildings were hit.

The Ringling storm moved eastward and produced a pronounced hook echo from Overbrook and all the way to Kingston as it traveled eastward, but a tornado was never spotted. However, this image of a very low-hanging wall cloud was captured SW of Madill around 8:15 pm:

                                                                            Wall cloud image from Misty N.

So a very intense “storm season” 2011 is pretty much over. Severe weather might take place in Texoma anytime of the year, but the northward shift of the jet by June keeps the bulk of the intense storms away from the Red River Valley during the summer months.

A severe “mini-season” often returns for a few weeks in September and October as cold fronts begin moving southward for the fall. These episodes are generally limited in tornado production compared to the spring.

Take Care,

Steve LaNore

Chief Meteorologist







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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by cody Location: bokchito,OK on Aug 25, 2011 at 03:07 PM
    it is horibal that than storms were in texoma and now there is not no rain now
  • by Steve LaNore Location: KXII-TV on Jun 5, 2011 at 02:59 PM
    Wayne, thanks for your note. Yes, a substantial hail core came through Grayson County as part of the May 24th severe weather episode, along with straight-line winds. These winds blew hail into the structures you mentioned. No tornadoes were indicated or reported by the NWS anywhere in Grayson County that day or in the days that followed. Wind speeds of 60-70mph probably occurred with those storms: sufficient to cause roof and tree damage. Take Care, Steve
  • by Wayne Location: Sherman on Jun 4, 2011 at 06:04 PM
    Steve, Tuesday, May 24th along O.B Groner there was severe damage. Starting from 289 near Gunter to Pebble Brook in Sherman. My wife rode it out and said there was golfball to baseball hail. All windows on west side were broken and roof damage. This happened to everybody in neighborhood. Was there a confirmed tornado that caused this damage?
  • by anon on Jun 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM
    thanks Steve for posting these blogs good work...
  • by ron Location: Howe on May 31, 2011 at 06:24 PM
    I like the rain. I could just do without the tornadic supercells. Though, I must say, we for the most part in Grayson County, squeaked by with minimal damage and danger this year, last one rolling through Sherman not withstanding. Sometimes, it behooves us to count our blessings, even if we have some drought.
  • by Steve LaNore Location: KXII-TV on May 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM
    Bill, The La Nina has fizzled leaving us in a pattern without a strong influence one way or the other. The general consensus is for slightly above average temperatures this summer and slightly below normal rainfall. So there's a little better than even money chance for the drought to worsen once again. Of course, drought sets in to some degree almost every summer due to high evaporation rates...It's looking pretty dry the next week or so for openers. Take Care, Steve
  • by Bill Location: Healdton on May 30, 2011 at 07:55 PM
    Hey Steve, with that being said, are we still in the running for normal rainfall the remainder of the season? Or are we looking for a repeat of the drought conditions we had earlier in the spring? Thanks and keep up the good work. Bill
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