Yesterday's thunderstorms were loud and scary looking, but Southeast Missouri managed to avoid the really nasty stuff. First, during Sunday evening, the storm system dropped hail over a wide swath to our north, from Kansas to Wisconsin. The map of preliminary storm reports for Sunday shows over 250 reports of large hail.
Overnight, as the storms approached Cape Girardeau, they weakened. We were fortunate that the cold front arrived in the early morning when thunderstorms are typically (but not always) at their weakest. After moving through Cape, it didn't take them long to re-strengthen as they entered Western Kentucky.
During the afternoon, the system exploded, causing widespread wind damage throughout the South. Indeed, the word "widespread" is actually an understatement. Just look at the breathtaking map of Monday's storm reports:
I don't think I've ever seen a storm report map with so many dots so close together over such a large area.
At the time of this writing, the Associated Press reports that at least 8 people were killed by the storms.
This is the kind of storm outbreak that will spawn a whole series of documentaries on The Weather Channel and other cable channels. It will be called the "Great Storm of Aught-Eleven" or something. The good news is that Cape Girardeau won't be a part of all this.