Category Archives: Hail

Moderate risk for severe weather Sunday includes the Wichita area

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the severe weather threat for Sunday to moderate for a large section of the Great Plains. The moderate risk zone stretches from much of Iowa southwest through central Kansas to the Oklahoma state line.

The SPC is warning of a “severe weather outbreak with many tornadoes and very large hail possible Sunday and Sunday night across parts of the central Plains and mid-Missouri Valley.”

“Several strong or long-track tornadoes appear possible” – particularly in the area between Topeka and Des Moines, the center cautions.

Among the Kansas cities in the moderate zone are Salina, Topeka and Hutchinson. Omaha is among Nebraska cities in the moderate.

Wichita and Kansas City are in the slight risk zone, but the moderate boundary comes so close to Wichita that Maize and Goddard are in the moderate risk area.

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Any severe weather in the region isn’t likely to fire up until late afternoon or early evening, forecasters say.

Isolated storms could bring golf ball hail and strong winds

Wichita and south-central Kansas face the potential for isolated strong thunderstorms late this afternoon and early this evening, weather officials say.

The primary threats appear to be hail as large as golf balls and downburst winds of up to 75 miles an hour.

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Latest projections for severe weather threat

The Storm Prediction Center still has most of Kansas (including Wichita) in a slight risk for severe weather today. That includes a 2% chance of tornadoes within 25 miles of any given point.

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The National Weather Service has produced a graphic describing the most likely threats. Storms are expected to be widely scattered – even isolated – but should they fire up they’ll feature hail as large as baseballs and winds reaching 70 miles an hour.

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Wichita is on the northeast boundary of the 30% chance of hail charted on this map produced by the Storm Prediction Center. If you have a garage, put your vehicles in it.

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Weekend severe weather threat for Kansas

Here’s a graphical presentation of the severe weather threat for Kansas this weekend, courtesy of the National Weather Service:

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Severe thunderstorm watches posted for western Kansas

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The Storm Prediction Center has issued Severe Thunderstorm Watches until 11 p.m. for nearly 40 counties in central and western Kansas. Wichita is not included in the watch areas, but Dodge City, Garden City, Russell and Hill City are among the communities included.

Large hail and winds of up to 70 miles an hour are the primary threats.

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Expect a severe thunderstorm watch for western Kansas shortly

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a report saying conditions for severe thunderstorms with large hail have improved significantly early this afternoon.

Here’s a map indicating where they expect storm risk to be greatest:

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Ominous cloud depicts storm’s strength

This dramatic cloud formation was photographed by Nicole Loeffler in Reno County Tuesday night. The structure was morphing from a supercell thunderstorm to a more linear cluster of thunderstorms.

That’s not to say the storm had lost its ability to produce large hail, however, as Loeffler’s car can attest. She and her chase partner were caught out on an open road, and by the time they took shelter in a stranger’s house, the damage had been done.

Storms deliver triple digit winds, hail nearly 5 inches in diameter, street flooding

As sunrise brings fresh light to the aftermath of strong storms in southern Kansas from Tuesday night, authorities are beginning to assess the toll.

Hail as large as baseballs was reported in east Hutchinson, according to Reno County Emergency Management. Winds estimated as high as 100 miles an hour were reported in southern Reno County near Pretty Prairie. The town itself was hit hard by hail and strong winds, knocking down trees and blocking streets.

“Please Please Please stay away from Pretty Prairie for now. They are not letting people into town at this time,” a post on Reno County Emergency Management’s Facebook page implored.

A hail stone measuring 4.75 inches in diameter fell near Yoder in eastern Reno County and hail as large as tennis balls was also reported.

More heavy rain strong winds struck Argonia in Sumner County Tuesday night, which was still picking up the pieces from Monday night’s microburst storm that ripped portions of the roof off the high school and elementary school.

Officially, Wichita recorded 1.02 inches of rain, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Schminke. But heavier amounts were reported elsewhere in the city – including an inch of rain falling in just a half-hour at Central and Ridge Road in west Wichita.

Substantial rain over each of the past two days in the Cheney Lake watershed area is likely to boost water levels at the lake. With the ground already saturated, runoff into the lake – which until recently was Wichita’s primary water source – should be considerable.

Expect strong storms later today in Wichita area

Large hail, damaging winds and a long-track tornado or two are possible in the Wichita metropolitan area later today, forecasters warn.

The strong thunderstorms that dumped more than two inches across the city before 7 a.m. have helped stabilize the atmosphere, but afternoon heating is expected to recharge the environment and set the stage for potentially violent weather.

Hail as large as baseballs, winds of more than 70 miles an hour and heavy rain are possible along with a tornado or two, according to the National Weather Service. The best chances for severe weather appear to be south of U.S. 50, or roughly south of a line from Hutchinson to Cottonwood Falls.

The Storm Prediction Center placed a small segment of southern Kansas and a large chunk of central Oklahoma in a moderate risk for severe weather today. Wichita is not included in the moderate, but the counties of Cowley, Sumner, Montgomery, Chautauqua and a bit of Elk are in the elevated risk zone.

Storm Prediction Center: Atmosphere in Central Plains “loaded gun”

The Storm Prediction Center has expanded its moderate risk zone for severe weather today, saying the atmosphere is so unstable in western Kansas down into northern Texas that it resembles a “loaded gun.”

Large hail, damaging winds and strong tornadoes are possible with any storms that develop, according to the SPC.

“The greatest potential for strong tornadoes this afternoon is expected to develop from near Dodge City southward across the eastern Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma,” a statement issued by the SPC reads. “Swaths of wind damage will be possible with the more intense supercells and bow echoes.”

As the storms move eastward in to the Wichita area, the primary threats are likely to be large hail and damaging winds, according to the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service. Hail could be larger than 2 inches in diameter with some storms and winds could exceed 70 miles an hour.