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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • ‘Four seasons wrapped in one’: Temperature drop, strong winds accompany passing front

  • A report of a tornado touchdown just outside of Hannibal Thursday afternoon could not be confirmed by John Hark, emergency management director for the city of Hannibal and Marion County.
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  • A report of a tornado touchdown just outside of Hannibal Thursday afternoon could not be confirmed by John Hark, emergency management director for the city of Hannibal and Marion County.
    “I’ve not heard it. Nobody has made any official reports with me,” said Hark, whose own residence sustained some shingle damage during Thursday afternoon’s severe storm. “National Weather never indicated anything (a tornado). They just issued a severe thunderstorm warning.”
    The thunderstorm which rolled through Hannibal at approximately 2 p.m. was part of a squall line that formed in east-central Missouri and raced to the northeast at 70 mph, according to the NWS. Some of the storms reaching severe limits packed brief torrential rain, strong winds and hail.
    In Hannibal, heavy rain fell. Marble-sized hail was reported on West Ely Road. Winds gusted up to 60 mph, according to Hark.
    The line of storms accompanied the passage of a strong cold front, which prompted the issuance of blizzard warnings from central Iowa into parts of Minnesota.
    Ahead of Thursday afternoon’s front the temperature reached a high 64 degrees in Hannibal at 1 p.m., according to the Water Filter Plant. That was only six degrees off the record high for Feb. 20 of 70 set in 1983 and tied in 1996.
    The Filter Plant reports that the temperature fell six degrees between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. the thermometer plunged 14 degrees to 44. By 5 p.m. the temperature had reached 38 degrees.
    Thursday’s rain, combined with rapid snow melt over the past few days, has raised flood concerns. Hark was heading out Thursday afternoon to make a visual check of the North River and North Fabius River.
    The level of the Mississippi River has already jumped.
    “We’ve had about a foot jump which isn’t going to hurt us. That puts us at 11 (feet) something and I can handle that. I don’t know about this rain and how much of an area it covered and how much snow melt we’re going to have because of it,” said Hark. “Are we going to get a little more water on the river? I think so, but right now I’m not concerned about the Mississippi as much as I am the other tributaries – the North River, South River, North Fabius - and the tributaries here in the city.”
    The NWS has issued a flood warning for the North Fabius River and Middle Fabius River near Ewing in Lewis County, and the South Fabius River near Taylor in Marion County. The warning extends through 5:20 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. Because of water over roadways the Missouri Department of Transportation had closed a handful of roads in Northeast Missouri Thursday, including Missouri 16 in Lewis County, between Route Z and Route F near Sugar Creek.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hark is not surprised by the weather changes seen in Hannibal Thursday.
    “This is the season that anything can happen,” he said. “Before this night is over we’re going to have four seasons all wrapped into one. I look for us to have snow flurries before midnight.”
    A return to colder weather is forecast over at least the next week. After reaching 50 degrees on Friday, the daytime highs will steadily drop in the days ahead. The extended forecast for Thursday, March 6, calls for a high of just 19 degrees.
     
     
     
     

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