The Midwest and Ohio River Valley have found themselves experiencing severe weather, the likes of which are normally reserved for early and mid-spring. Unseasonably record-breaking temperatures in the sixties and seventies in the upper-Midwest brought about the right atmospheric conditions for large hail, damagaing winds and tornadoes.
As of now, 32 or 33 tornadoes were reported, most of them occurring in Missouri and Wisconsin. Such widespread tornadic activity is certainly considered an official "outbreak." Additionally, large hail the size of golf-balls also accompanied the squall lines moving through these states.
The worst tornadoes were in Missouri and it sounds as if the most intense were F-2s or maybe weak F-3s (winds from 115mph to 160mph). Two deaths were reported in a trailer home park near Monett, MO. A cellular phone picture of this tornado is below.
It will be interesting to see if such an early severe weather outbreak is an indication of a really active tornado season. For those of us that live in tornado-prone areas (hypothetically, take the small town of Hesston, KS for example) let us hope not.
That's it, for now.
I've been needing to clean out my basement for a while. It's really dirty down there!!