Springtime thunderstorms rolled across a large swath of the Midwest and South on Thursday, triggering several suspected tornadoes in Missouri and Texas and bashing several states with large, damaging hail stones. Heavy rainfall also made its spring debut that resulted in several water rescues and evacuations. Four people sustained injuries in Texas when a suspected twister destroyed a rural home and a mobile home Thursday night near the community of Merit which is about 30 minutes or so northeast of Dallas. The Hunt County Sheriff’s Dept. did report that the injuries were not life-threatening although no future details were given.
In the college town of Denton, TX, the severe thunderstorms dumped hail the size of oranges, leading to many smashed windshields as well as extensive property damage. Hail stones the size of ping pong balls came down in the Tulsa area as did heavy rain with strong gusting winds. In Arkansas, hail also fell. Strong gusting winds there caused many trees to fall which knocked out power in the western portion of the state. While the heaviest rain tapered off late Thursday, the National Weather Service said that flash flood warnings will remain in effect for portions of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky due to runoff from the heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile in Minnesota, people there are cursing the weather stations as yet again, another winter storm is taking aim at that state. Forecasters are warning residents of the Twin Cities area to be ready for some heavy snowfall with winds Friday. The Twin Cities have been getting new snow since Wednesday night. One to two new inches fell by Thursday morning and by the evening hours, another five inches added to that. To add insult to injury, another two to three inches is expected to cover the ground on Friday along with strong, whipping winds of up to 30 miles per hour. However, as the temperature begin to climb Friday and continue to do so into the weekend, the sun will return to start melting all that snow. Unfortunately the quick warmup will most likely end up causing flooding in many southern Minnesota areas.
People living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have also been warned of heavy snowfall through Saturday morning. It’s likely that most of the UP in Michigan will get up to a foot of snow by Saturday noontime which will just add to the snow that’s already on the ground there. Winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour will make travel in the UP very hazardous Friday. By the time the snowstorm moves out of northern Michigan, sleet and freezing rain may come down to make travel all but impossible.