During the early weeks of April, it is not unlikely that the United States begins to see severe weather. True to the predictions, this week has been rough for many of the Plains states, as they have been seeing very severe weather conditions. This storm system is now moving throughout the South and the Midwest, but should begin to dissipate on Friday. Missouri and Kansas have so far seen the worst of this system that has overcame a suppressing cap in the atmosphere to wreak havoc on these states.
On midday Wednesday there were substantial reports of hail that was at least one inch in diameter in the metro area. The hail was so large that in some cases it was able to completely cover yards. Flash flooding was also an issue, and many motorists found themselves stranded in parts of the city. Kansas also saw large amounts of hail, including some that was the size of a baseball. This occurred Wednesday evening, and some even reported that their windshields had been busted out by the sheer force of the hail.
On Thursday morning, there was a confirmed tornado touchdown that was present in the St. Louis, MO area. It is said that this particular tornado damaged approximately 100 homes if not more. The threat for severe weather on Thursday night remains high, and residents living in the Plains states should be prepared for anything. Hail, strong gusting wind, heavy rain, and tornadoes are all possibilities through tonight and tomorrow morning.
Severe thunderstorms are predicted for Thursday night in southern Iowa, downstate Illinois, eastern Texas, and may possibly move into the middle/lower Mississippi Valley and lower Ohio Valley. As said before, tornadoes, large hail, damaging straight-line winds and heavy rain are all possible threats. Some additional isolated cells may produce large hail as seen in Kansas as well as rainfall that could cause more flash flooding.
The threat for severe weather on Friday will be low to medium. The severe thunderstorms will be scattered from the Ohio Valley to the Southeast, and straight line winds will be the most common threat. A few tornadoes may also be possible in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.
It is always in your best interest as a homeowner and motorist to be prepared with an emergency kit when there is a possibility of severe weather. This could include a first aid kit, non-perishable goods, a source of light, and also a blanket or two. Also, stay tuned to your local weather authority or The Weather Channel for any updates on the particular system in your area.