April 20th - April 24th 2004 Severe Weather and Flooding Events
A frontal boundary stalled out across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas during the middle of the week. Strong low level winds just off the surface helped to bring large amounts of moisture up and over the front during the course of the 4 day period. In addition, several upper level disturbances moved through and increased the lift and wind shear over the area which lead to some severe storms with large hail, damaging wind and funnel cloud reports.
Scattered severe storms developed during the afternoon and evening of the 21st and evovled into a heavy rain event for extreme southern Missouri during the overnight hours into the morning of the 22nd. General rainfall amounts of a half inch to inch occurred across the area with several reports along the Missouri Arkansas border counties receiving around an inch and a half. This helped in the saturation of the ground for the upcoming rainfall which would affect the same areas during the next 3 days.
Clouds eventually cleared across western Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma by the afternoon of the 22nd and instability increased once again across the Ozarks. Strong to severe thunderstorms began to develop by the early to mid afternoon hours across southern Missouri. Supercells began developing in northeast Oklahoma by late afternoon and shifted northeast into southwest Missouri by the early evening hours. Storms showed strong rotation and showed classic "hook echoes" on the reflectivity maps, but were never able reach the surface. There were many reports of funnel clouds aloft and hail up to baseball size with these supercell storms. In addition to the severe storms on the night of the 22nd, torrential rainfall occurred across the same areas which received the heavy rain on the night before. Precipitation totals of an additional 2 to 4 inches occurred across southern Missouri.
Scattered strong to severe storms continued throughout the entire day on the 23rd and through the evening hours. Most of the storms remained below severe limits but added to the flooding problems across the southern third of Missouri and extreme southeast Kansas. The heavy rain continued across much of central and Southern Missouri during the overnight hours and throughout the day of the 24th. Additional precipitation in southern Missouri of 4 to 5 inches of rainfall brought the 4 day totals into the 5 to 9 inch range and led to widespread flooding.
The following are links for more information on this intense week of weather across the area:
Statement with Total Precipitation Amounts
Radar Estimate of Total Precipitation
Storm Reports of Severe Weather and Flooding
Pictures of Flooding from this Event
Picture of Hail from near Richland, MO on the 22nd.