Mini supercell thunderstorms produced two brief tornadoes, along with a few funnel clouds, during the early evening hours on Thursday. These storms developed due to a warm front that was positioned over central Missouri, stretching from a center of low pressure over extreme west central Missouri. These supercells were unique in that they did not produce huge, towering thunderstorms, but instead were more shallow and, thus, produced shorter-lived storms. When these storms intersected the warm front, the front was able to produce just enough lift to support short-lived tornadoes. Funnel clouds were reported near Holden, and two separate tornadoes were reported near Warrensburg and Sedalia. The first tornado was reported to have briefly touched down east of Warrensburg at 5:45pm. A second tornado was spotted near Sedalia at around 6:45pm and remained on the ground for approximately 3 minutes. The tornado briefly rose up off of the ground before touching down once again.


Radar image from 6:44pm on 5/20/10, showing a slight hook in the storm southwest of Sedalia. This region of the storm near the hook is where the tornado was reported. Storm report map for 5/20/10, displaying the funnel cloud and tornado reports.


Report Time Location Event Type
5:38pm 3 NW Holden, MO Funnel Cloud
5:38pm 2 SSW Holden, MO Funnel Cloud
5:42pm 6 NNE Leeton, MO Tornado
6:46pm 3 WSW Sedalia, MO Tornado
6:46pm 1 SW Sedalia, MO Tornado


Since these storms were quite weak, storm damage in the area was minimal. Approximately 10 to 12 houses in Sedalia received minor roof and shingle damage.  Tree limbs were broken off, and some of these limbs led to powerlines being pulled down.


Below are links to two videos showing footage of the two tornadoes, courtesy of KMBC news:

Tornado east of Warrensburg

Tornado near Sedalia


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