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A multicellular thunderstorm complex that, generally, has a linear appearance (i.e., MCS, squall line) but also exhibits localized storm-scale vortices that can behave very similar to low-level mesocyclones and are capable of producing tornadoes called a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) moved through east central Kansas and west central Missouri producing multiple QLCS tornadoes and significant damage associated with numerous mesovortices. Interestingly, there was a supercell ahead of the line that also produced a tornado. Also, this line of storms produced extreme rain rates and widespread flash flooding was reported throughout the Kansas City area.

Ahead of the advancing QLCS a supercell formed and produced a tornado in northern Jackson County,  just southwest of Sibley, Missouri and barely missed the main part of the city just to the west. Although it remained mostly in rural parts of Jackson County it did impact some outbuildings and did plenty of tree damage to areas just west of Sibley. The tornado then moved across the Missouri River, into Ray County where it did impact a mobile home, ripped its support straps out of the ground, and wrapped it around a nearby tree. No one was occupying the residence at the time, so no injuries were reported. The tornado dissipated in rural Ray County, just northwest of Orrick.

The supercell that produced an EF-2 tornado near Sibley went on to produce a 2nd tornado near the city of Polo. It formed a few miles south of Polo in Ray County, producing some EF-1 damage to outbuildings in Ray County. The tornado then crossed into Caldwell County, and dissipated just east of Polo. Three other tornadoes occurred with this system and cause minor damage. One occurred in Bates County near Adrian. Another occurred near Clinton, Missouri, and earlier in the evening one briefly touched down in Lawson, Missouri. No injuries were reported with any of these tornadoes. Aside from the tornadoes, widespread wind damage occurred across the region from this line of convective storms.


Radar loop of the evening of May 16 into the overnight hours of May 17.

Notice the supercells ahead of the advancing squall line moving into Missouri from Kansas. 

Visit the radar section below for closer details of some of the features from this system.

Click on image or here to enlarge.

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