Tornadoes, large hail, 97-mph wind reported in America's heartland on Saturday

Large hail, strong winds and at least four tornadoes moved through parts of the Midwest Saturday. In Missouri, baseball-sized hail was seen, and the NWS confirmed an EF-1 tornado that moved through St. Louis County.

Severe thunderstorms tore across the central and southern U.S. on Saturday, dropping large hail and producing damaging wind along the way, and more severe weather was reported overnight into Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, most fallen hail was between penny- and half-dollar-sized. However, there have been several reports of golf-ball-sized and baseball-sized hail. There has also been a report of grapefruit-sized hail near Arcola, Missouri.


Paige Graves told FOX Weather that her vehicle was heavily damaged when baseball-sized hail fell about 10 miles east of Lamar, Missouri.

"We've never had damage like this before here," Graves said.

There have also been reports of damaging wind with the storms in Missouri. A gust of 97 mph was recorded near the town of Vichy. There were also reports of damage to a mobile home, barn and trees in the area. Daniel Zimmerman also shared images with FOX Weather that showed damage to an airplane hangar at the Rolla National Airport in Vichy.

A Tornado Warning was issued for the St. Louis metro area as the line of storms marched across the Mississippi River. There were several reports of wind damage in the area, with a gust of 67 mph recorded at the St. Louis International Airport.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service confirmed at least four tornadoes touched down near St. Louis. Preliminary survey results found that the strongest, an EF-1 tornado, moved near I-44 in Fenton, Missouri, for 4.5 miles. 

They said that 

In a separate complex of storms tearing across the northern Gulf Coast, there have been a few reports of damaging wind gusts of more than 60 mph near New Orleans. There were several reports of fallen trees and power outages in that area, as well.

Where are the storms now?

Showers and storms developed across many parts of the eastern U.S. However, the severe weather was concentrated in Missouri and Arkansas. Dangerous storms also developed along the southern end of the cold front that caused all the nasty weather, spreading the activity into Louisiana and Texas. Severe storms continued moving east through the overnight hours.

Due to the invasion of much cooler air, on the northern side of the low, snow is being produced. The frozen precipitation is expected to make its way through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes over the next 72 hours.


Tracking storms on radar. Tornado Warnings are indicated in purple and red. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are indicated in yellow. Flash Flood Warnings are indicated in green.
(FOX Weather)


Sunday’s threat zone

The cold front that triggered Saturday's severe weather is expected to continue its eastward trek Sunday and produce showers and thunderstorms from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast.

The FOX Forecast Center expects if a storm turns strong to severe over the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, the greatest threats will be from hail or gusty winds.

Farther south in Georgia and South Carolina, afternoon heating may lead to a more organized line of storms.

Forecast models show many communities picking up less than an inch of rain, but where storms train over the same region, isolated higher amounts are possible, especially across the South.

The severe weather outlook for April 16, 2023.