Category Archives: Hail

Tornado watch issued for northern and northeast Kansas

A tornado watch has been issued for 30 counties in northcentral Kansas until 10 p.m.

Large hail and damaging winds appear to be the primary threats from the strong thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.

“Given the amount of instability, a tornado or two will be hard to rule out,” a weather statement from the agency cautions.

The strongest storms are most likely to from along and north of a line from Great Bend to McPherson to Cottonwood Falls.

The counties in the watch include: Atchison, Brown, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marshall, Miami, Morris, Nemaha, Osage, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Republic, Riley, Saline, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Washington and Wyandotte.

Parts of Kansas in a moderate risk for severe weather today

The Storm Prediction Center has placed a chunk of northcentral Kansas in a moderate risk for severe weather on this Memorial Day.

Among the cities included in the moderate zone are Salina, Smith Center and Concordia.

“Explosive thunderstorm development is anticipated by mid- to late afternoon over northcentral Kansas and southcentral Nebraska,” the SPC alert states. “Intense supercells appear likely with the threat for tornadoes – some potentially significant – and very large hail.”

Wichita is included in a slight risk for severe weather.

Severe weather threat update

Strong storms with the potential for large hail and tornadoes are possible this weekend around Kansas, forecasters say.

Moderate risk of baseball-sized hail and tornadoes in northwest Kansas, southwest Nebraska

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman has upgraded the storm threat in northwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska to moderate for Saturday.

Forecasting models are suggesting conditions in that sector will support the development of tornadoes and large hail – as big as baseballs in some cases.

Among the cities included in the moderate are Hays, Stockton, Colby, Hill City, Atwood and Norton.

Suzanne Fortin, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service in Wichita, said she wouldn’t be surprised if the moderate zone for Saturday is eventually increased to include Russell and Rush counties in central Kansas.

Today’s severe weather threat in Kansas

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman has issued a slight risk for severe weather in much of central Kansas – including the Wichita area -as well as portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri.

The tornado threat is minimal, according to an SPC outlook, but large hail and strong winds are possible.

Residents should monitor forecasts and conditions and be prepared to seek appropriate shelter if and when strong storms threaten. The National Weather Service in Wichita is projecting the storms to reach the Wichita area after 7 p.m.

Strong thunderstorms to threaten Wichita early this afternoon

Heavy rain and small hail are possible from storms sliding south into the Wichita metropolitan area early this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong thunderstorms – some with large hail – possible later today in Wichita area

Scattered thunderstorms are likely this afternoon and evening in the Wichita metropolitan area, forecasters say, with large hail possible in the strongest storms.

The strongest storms are most likely to develop along the Kansas-Oklahoma border, according to the National Weather Service. Hail the size of golf balls and winds of up to 60 miles an hour are possible with these storms.

Monitor weather conditions closely and be prepared to take shelter as needed.

Storm spotter training schedule set for Wichita area

Yes, the snow flurries and temperatures and wind chills remind us that winter is still in full force these days, but spring isn’t that far off.

One reminder of that is the arrival of the schedule for storm spotter training classes in the Wichita area. The National Weather Service has posted its schedule of storm spotter classes on its website.

The first class is Feb. 11 in Sedan and the last is April 11 in Wichita. That final session, along with meetings on April 3 in Salina and April 9 in Parsons, are advanced sessions. Those wishing to go to those talks are encouraged to attend one of the basic talks earlier in the spring.

The “basic” talk for Wichita will be held March 5 at Northwest High School.

The basic talks cover thunderstorm development, storm structure, the features to look for and where to find them. The audience is also taught how, what and when to report information.

Basic severe weather safety is covered in the presentation as well.

All classes are free and open to the public.

Heavy rain, isolated hail hit Wichita overnight

More than 3 inches of rain has fallen in parts of northern and western Wichita overnight, spawning thousands of power outages.

Isolated hail – including one report of stones the size of golf balls – was also reported as a potent storm formed in the Wichita metropolitan area and then churned northeast toward Topeka.

“It developed right over us, really, and gave us a good bit of rain,” said Scott Smith, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita.

The northern half of the city generally received between 2 and 3 inches of rain, Smith said.

“There’s probably some isolated 4 inches,” based on what Doppler radar is indicating, he said.

An off-duty weather service meteorologist who lives in far west Wichita reported 3.08 inches. The official rainfall total at the weather service office next to Mid-Continent Airport was 1.17 inches shortly after 7 a.m., Smith said. Jabara Airport in northeast Wichita recorded 1.5 inches.

Some parts of south Wichita and the metropolitan area only received about a half-inch of rain, Smith said.

The strong late-night storms knocked out power to thousands of Westar Energy customers for a short time. More than 4,000 customers were without electricity at one stage late Tuesday night, but the number of outages was listed at 275 at about 7:30 a.m. on the utility’s web site.

The weather service received more than a half-dozen reports of hail in Wichita, Smith said. Most of it was less than an inch in diamater, though one person reported golf ball sized hail 2 miles northwest of downtown – or about 13th and Zoo Boulevard.

More rain is expected periodically in the Wichita area through Friday, Smith said, but at this point no more heavy rain is anticipated.

Moderate risk for severe weather in central Kansas

The Storm Prediction Center has posted a moderate risk of severe weather for much of central Kansas today, and Wichita is included in the slight risk area.

The tornado threat has diminished for most of Kansas from earlier projections, though large hail remains a possibility for those areas where storms develop and move.