Category Archives: Thunderstorms

Impressive lightning display

I’ve heard from a number of friends who talked about being awakened by the strong thunderstorm that rolled through Wichita early Thursday morning. The storm brought heavy rain and scores of lightning strikes. Lightning was blamed for two house fires a block apart on South Seneca and an oil storage tank fire near 127th Street East.

This AccuWeather dropcam video captured some of the storm’s power.

Heavy rain to offer challenges for evening commute in Wichita

Heavy rain falling for much of the last hour is causing ponding on streets in the Wichita area, the National Weather Service cautioned.

That figures to make the evening commute trickier than normal. Drive carefully.

Severe thunderstorm warning for parts of northern Sedgwick County

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for portions of northern Sedgwick County until 2:45 p.m.

A strong thunderstorm capable of 60 mile-an-hour gusts and hail the size of quarters was located near Valley Center at 2:05 p.m. and was moving east at 15 miles an hour. Cities threatened by the storm include Park City, Bel Aire and Kechi.

Residents can expect hail damage to vehicles and wind damage to roofs, siding and trees.

Wichita misses out on weekend’s substantial rains

Wichita recorded nearly half an inch of rain over the weekend, but as this map generated by the National Weather Service shows, the city just missed out on much more substantial amounts.

Given the record-setting dry spell that has opened 2014, the heavier rainfall would have been welcome indeed.


The weather service also provided a graphic showing some of the heaviest rainfall totals reported from Sunday’s storms. One unofficial report in Newton topped 4 inches.

The Pretty Prairie rainfall total is particularly meaningful for Wichita residents. The small Reno County town is in the drainage basin for Cheney Reservoir, which is the primary source of water for the city of Wichita.


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.


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.


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.


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.

042714severe threat

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.



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:



Severe thunderstorm watches posted for western Kansas


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.



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: