May 5, 2017

Tornadoes and blizzards. It's spring across the Great Plains!

Missouri
USA
by
Tom Di Liberto
,
NOAA Climate.gov
NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite image take on April 30, 2017 using the VIIRS instrument. A sprawling storm system was moving east across the country bringing severe weather, tornadoes and hail to the eastern Plains and Missouri Valley and blizzard conditions to the western Great Plains. Photo: Climate.gov
NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite image take on April 30, 2017 using the VIIRS instrument. A sprawling storm system was moving east across the country bringing severe weather, tornadoes and hail to the eastern Plains and Missouri Valley and blizzard conditions to the western Great Plains. Photo: Climate.gov

A huge storm system traversed the central United States at the end of April, causing weather impacts that included flash floods, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and strong winds, and even blizzard conditions. While a storms like these are not common, this kind of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink storm does tend to happen a couple of times each spring as drastically different air masses—warm and moist air from the tropics versus drier, still-wintry, air out of Canada—clash over the Great Plains.