Daily Archives: 12 June, 2008

Tornado damage at Kansas State

Mike Smith sent us photos of the damage at K-State, which is estimated to be at least $20 million.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

Tornado damage at K-State. Courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

All photos courtesy of WeatherData Services Inc., Mike Smith. (c) 2008 Michael R. Smith.

More damage photos from Manhattan

Photographer Chris Hsieh in Manhattan has shot numerous photos of the tornado damage in the city. You can access them through his La Brisa Photography web site.

Manhattan tornado rated EF4

A damage assessment team from The National Weather Service office in Topeka has rated the tornado that struck Manhattan as an EF4, with winds between 166 and 200 miles an hour.

The tornado was 1/4-mile wide at its strongest point at the intersection of Peachtree Circle and Amherst Avenue, the weather service reported. The tornado touched down at 10:48 p.m. southwest of the city, churned northeast through the city and lifted on the northeast edge of town at 11:03 p.m.

Remarkably, no serious injuries were reported in Manhattan.

Track of Manhattan tornado Wednesday night

Salina tornado classified an EF3

Speculation that damage in Salina Wednesday night was caused by straight-line winds can be shelved: a damage assessment survey by the National Weather Service determined that the city was hit by an EF3 tornado that touched down just west of I-135 and just south of the Salina Airport at about 9:40 p.m.

The tornado moved northeast along the southeast outskirts of Salina, damaging several homes, outbuildings, trees and power lines. Damage near the intersection of East Shilling Road and South Holmes Road was rated EF3, meaning the tornado had winds of between 136 and 165 miles an hour.

The tornado continued east of Salina, inflicting EF2 damage near Crawford Street and Whitmore Road. The tornado eventually crossed into Dickinson County, just south of Solomon, before dissipating.

Ulrich hosts book signing for local storm chaser and photographer

Jim Reed, a Wichita-based storm chaser and weather photographer, will discuss his latest book, “Storm Chaser: A Photographer’s Journey,” tonight at the Ulrich Museum of Art on the Wichita State University campus.

The presentation begins at 6 p.m. and will include a discussion on storm chasing, extreme weather photography, media coverage of severe weather, and this year’s record-setting tornado season.

The program is free. To learn more about the show, call 316-978-3664 or e-mail the museum at ulrich@wichita.edu

Of course, there’s a caveat: if severe weather threatens the area, the show may be postponed so Jim can chase the storms.

Tornado risk for Wichita area can’t be ignored today

The Storm Prediction Center has only a slight risk for severe weather in south-central Kansas today, but forecasters indicate there’s a 10% chance of tornadoes in the southeast corner of the state – essentially from Wichita east.

By comparison, the SPC had listed a 15% chance of tornadoes for north-central Kansas Wednesday night. Salina, Chapman, Manhattan and other parts of the region are sifting through the rubble and tending to numerous victims this morning.

The National Weather Service in Wichita reports that large hail and damaging winds are the primary threat today, but it would seem wise to be alert to the possibility of tornadoes as well. The SPC reports that ingredients will be in place to support tornadoes later tonight.

Salina, Chapman and Manhattan sort through tornado rubble

As residents and authorities of several north-central Kansas towns begin to sort through the considerable damage wrought by tornadoes Wednesday night, National Weather Service damage survey teams are converging on the stricken areas.

Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service, has already left for Salina, where several buildings were damaged or destroyed. There are conflicting reports about whether the damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds.

No such confusion exists about the damage at Chapman, Manhattan or near Soldier. Meteorologists from the NWS Topeka office will be studying the damage in Manhattan, Chapman and surrounding areas.

The Storm Prediction Center cataloged 52 reports of tornadoes Thursday night in Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa – 21 of them in Kansas.

Hail the size of softballs killed several cattle near Ellsworth, meteorologist Leon Wasinger said.
Stones of that size could kill animals (even people) outright.

What happens most often in such cases, Wasinger said, is that the cattle are so badly battered by the hail stones that their owners decide to put them down. The livestock toll can be high in such circumstances, because cattle left outdoors tend to clump together against stormy weather to protect themselves and each other.