March of 1990 was extremely active with a total of 86 tornadoes occurring. 78 of them during the period of March 11 through March 15th. The most active day: March 13. 59 tornadoes moved through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. There were 2-F4 and 2-F5 tornadoes on the 13th. We have summary pages highlighting each event.
The historic March 1990 Storm Data Publication listed some unusual aspects of the mid-March tornadoes.
- The outbreak on the 13th produced the strongest tornadoes of record (at that time) so early in the season for so far Northwest in the US.
- The state of KS reported tornadoes on 4 consecutive days (11th, 12th, 13th and 14th) - very early in the season to be seeing this.
- There were some unusually times that tornadoes touched down: Kansas reported initial touchdown at 11:49pm on the 12th, 12:10 am and 8:36am on the 13th for example.
- The violent tornadic thunderstorms in York County, NE killed 10,000 geese.
- On the 11th, a storm with cloud topes less than 25,000 feet produced a tornado with a 14 miles track in KS. One bolt of lightning was noted by lightning detection equipment.
- Approx. 8 miles SW of Hesston, KS, a 1/4 mile section of fence was rolled up into a big ball in a tree row.
- It was reported that a pickup truck on the same proper as the fence in Point #6, was never found, except in pieces. Only the steering column, wheels and parts of the frame were located.
- In Hesston, posts of a chain-link fence anchored in concrete were dragged through the ground for nearly 20 feet, leaving a narrow trench.
- Several tons of powdered cement were sucked out of a bin in Hesston.
Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. St. Johnsbury, VT: The Tornado Project of Environmental Films. Page 1292-1293.