By: Robb Lawson
Deadly tornadoes swept across portions of Missouri on Sunday March 12th. Many of the storms that produced tornadoes across Missouri initiated in Southeast Kansas where they dropped very large hail.
Unseasonably warm and moist conditions were in place over Southeast Kansas during the early afternoon hours of Sunday March 12th. Storms first fired over portions of South Central and Southeast Kansas before noon. Image 1 is a radar image of the storms shortly after they first developed.Many locations reported very large hail from these storms. Baseball size hail was reported near Howard(Elk County), near Rose(Woodson County), southwest of Chanute(Neosho County) and in Iola(Allen County). Image 2 is a picture of some of the large hail from Iola. Tornado warnings were then issued for these storms as they eventually moved into an area with better low level wind shear. Even though no tornadoes were reported, there were reports of funnel clouds. Image 3 is a radar image showing the storms as they became even stronger. The storm over Neosho County in Image 3 eventually produced a number of long track tornadoes across the central portion of Missouri. With the dryline remaining over Southeast Kansas through the early evening hours on March 12th, a second round of severe storms developed. These storms produced additional large hail to locations that received hail only a few hours earlier. Image 4 is a radar image of the second round of severe storms. Image 5 shows the enormous number of severe weather reports from March 12th. So even though the most destructive tornadoes did not occur in the counties covered by Wichita's forecast office, some of the most powerful supercells of the day started in our area.