Category Archives: Thunderstorms

Schedules set for severe weather preparedness classes in Wichita area

Yes, it’s mid-January and we’ve seen no shortage of cold weather – or snow, for that matter.

But spring isn’t all that far away, as the arrival of severe weather preparedness classes demonstrates. The Wichita branch of the National Weather Service has released its schedule of classes. The classes are offered in each of the 26 counties of southeast Kansas that encompass the Wichita branch’s warning coverage area.

Sedgwick County Emergency Management has put together additional classes throughout Sedgwick County. Check each schedule to see which date is most convenient. The classes are free and are expected to last about two hours.

Severe thunderstorm warning for areas just west of Wichita

The National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for portions of Sedgwick, Reno and Kingman counties until 2:45 p.m.

At 1:53 p.m., a severe thunderstorm was located near Cheney and moving northeast at 45 miles an hour. Hail the size of half-dollars is the primary threat with this storm. The warning covers northeast Kingman County, southeast Reno County and western Sedgwick County.

The storm is expected to be near Goddard at 2:10 p.m. and Colwich and Andale by about 2:15 p.m.

For more information on current conditions, go to our weather page.

Today’s severe weather threat across the Great Plains

The Storm Prediction Center has posted a moderate threat for severe weather – including strong tornadoes – in most of western Iowa and a sliver of eastern Nebraska for today.

The slight risk zone extends as far south as the Texas/Oklahoma border and includes the Wichita metropolitan area.

The primary threats for the Wichita area will be damaging winds and hail – though forecasters say a tornado can’t be ruled out.

Severe thunderstorm watch until 11 p.m. for Wichita area

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for 13 counties in southern and south-central Kansas until 11 p.m. Thursday.

The watch includes the Wichita metropolitan area. Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible mainly west of a line from Salina to Wichita to South Haven.

Hail the size of golf balls and damaging winds of up to 70 miles an hour are possible with the strongest storms, along with locally heavy rain.

Counties included in the watch are: Barber, Butler, Clark, Comanche, Cowley, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Kiowa, Pratt, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner.

Heavy rain tonight and tomorrow heightens flood potential in southern Kansas

Residents in flood-prone areas of central and southern Kansas should be prepared to take safety precautions as heavy rain continues to pound the region, the National Weather Service warns. Downpours could develop rapidly. Rain fell at the rate of 4 inches an hour for a time in the Lindsborg area early Monday afternoon.

Motorists are reminded not to drive through flood waters, or risk being swept away.

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.

Thunderstorms elbow their way into Wichita’s forecast

Chances for showers and thunderstorms have been added to Monday’s forecast in the Wichita metropolitan area – arriving earlier than anticipated.

Rumbles of thunder as the morning commute was in high gear confirmed the rain threat, and the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for portions of Butler, McPherson, Marion and Harvey counties until 8:45 a.m.

Hail the size of quarters and winds of 60 miles an hour are possible with these storms.

Highs could reach triple digits in Wichita later today, forecasters say.

Strong storms may pass through Wichita area tonight

Strong storms – packing winds that could approach the 90-mile-an-hour gales in last month’s damaging storm – are possible overnight in the Wichita metropolitan area, according to the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

“We could see that again overnight,” admits Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service, “but I’m not too fired up about it.”

The winds in late June occurred as a thunderstorm collapsed, sending air rushing toward the ground and then spreading outward. It’s possible a similar scenario could play out overnight, Hayes said, but he’s only got a 30 percent chance in the forecast for now.

“If storms develop, the potential is there,” he said.

Severe thunderstorm watch for Wichita and central Kansas until 5 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 5 a.m. Wednesday for 35 counties in central and eastern Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area. Counties included in the warning:

BARBER BARTON BUTLER
CHASE CLARK COMANCHE
COWLEY DICKINSON EDWARDS
ELLIS ELLSWORTH FORD
GEARY HARPER HARVEY
HODGEMAN KINGMAN KIOWA
LINCOLN MARION MCPHERSON
MORRIS NESS OTTAWA
PAWNEE PRATT RENO
RICE RUSH RUSSELL
SALINE SEDGWICK STAFFORD
SUMNER TREGO

The primary hazards are locally heavy rainfall and damaging winds of up to 70 miles an hour.