The 2011 Joplin Tornado was a devasting EF5 tornado and is one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history. It occurred during a late-May tornado outbreak and hit Joplin, Missouri on May 22nd, 2011. Joplin is no stranger to tornadoes. This was the 3rd tornado to strike the city of Joplin since May 1971. Not only was this tornado deadly, but it was one of the costliest in the State of Missouri and in U.S. history. The 2011 Joplin tornado killed 161 people and injured thousands of others.
There is a debate if this tornado reached EF5 status on the Enhanced Fujita scale. A report claimed that much of the damage was done by EF2 and EF3 strength winds. However, the National Weather Service stands by its EF5 rating based on their assessment of the damage. Below you’ll find facts about the 2011 Joplin tornado, some of the tornado records that it broke, and pictures related to this tornado. Feel free to contact us if you come across any new research on this historic tornado.
19 Joplin Tornado Facts
- The 2011 Joplin Tornado occurred on May 22nd, 2011.
- It formed around 5:34 pm CDT and dissipated around 6:16 pm CDT.
- It received an EF5 tornado rating and had wind speeds that exceeded 200 mph (320 km/h).
- It traveled at least 22.1 miles (35.6 kilometers) from formation to dissipation.
- The National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri, was able to issue a tornado warning 20 minutes before it hit Joplin, Missouri.
- It caused damaged and loss of life in Missouri.
- It affected two counties in Missouri, Jasper County and Newton County.
- The city of Joplin was the most affected by this tornado.
- It’s estimated to have caused 161 fatalities, 1,150+ injuries, damaged 553 business structures and 7,500+ residential structures. 3,000 of the damaged residential structures had severe damage or were destroyed completely.
- This tornado was the deadliest tornado in U.S. history since 1950.
- It’s estimated to have caused $2.8 billion (2011 USD) in damages.
- $1.3 billion (2012 USD) of the damage was commercial property in Joplin, Missouri.
- $4.8 million (2012 USD) of the damage was commercial vehicles in Joplin, Missouri.
- $19.2 million (2012 USD) of the damage was to other commercial related items in Joplin, Missouri.
- $554 million (2012 USD) of the damage was residential property in Joplin, Missouri.
- $51 million (2012 USD) of the damaged was private vehicles in Joplin, Missouri.
- St. John’s Hospital in Joplin had to be replaced due to the extensive damage it received.
- It was on the ground for 38 minutes.
- It was debated if this was really an EF5 tornado, but the National Weather Service stands by its rating.
4 Joplin Tornado Records
Below is a list of records the 2011 Joplin Tornado set and still holds as of 6-10-2019.
- The 2011 Joplin Tornado is one of the most the costliest tornadoes in U.S. history.
- It is one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history with 161 confirmed fatalities.
- It is one of the deadliest tornadoes in the history of Missouri.
- It is in the top 30 for the deadliest tornadoes in world history.
2011 Joplin Tornado Pictures
Below are some shocking pictures related to the 2011 Joplin Tornado, including pictures of the funnel cloud and the damage that it caused.