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Tornado Outbreak March 12th, 2006

An intense storm system spawned a huge number of tornadoes across 5 states. The Storm Prediction Center had issued a rare "High Risk" outlook for the central U.S. and issued several PDS tornado watches (Particularly Dangerous Situation). Preliminary reports indicate that over 100 tornadoes may have touched down and the damage reports are still coming in. So far, 10 fatalities have been reported which is low considering the number of tornadoes and the fact that most of them occurred after dark. Hardest hit was Missouri and parts of Illinois where the towns of Springfield in both states were affected.

Here are a few RADAR images of some of the tornadic storms.

Springfield, Illinois Supercell

Missouri Supercells

The "Quad State" supercell. This storm formed in eastern Kansas, then tracked across the entire length of Missouri AND Illinois into Indiana. In total, it lasted over 10 hours and travelled almost 500 miles. This image shows a clearly visible "hook echo" indicating strong rotation in the storm. When this image was captured, the storm had just spawned a tornado that ripped through Springfield, Illinois causing widespread destruction.

Twin supercell thunderstorms with hook echoes in Missouri. These two storms were both producing tornadoes at the same time as one of them tracked near Springfield, Missouri and the other approaches the state line between Arkansas and Missouri, near Branson.