KS storms pack punch with hail, heavy rain
Storm Team 12 issued a Weather Alert Day Wednesday for one of the season's first bouts of severe weather in Kansas. Storms that impacted much of south central and parts of eastern Kansas included threats of large hail -- up to golf-ball sized -- heavy rains and potentially damaging winds.
Follow live updates as storms developed and advanced below:
The severe storm threat officially passes, but severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect for several counties until midnight. Rumbles of thunder and rain are about all that's expected overnight.
Looking ahead, Storm Team 12 reports skies will be partly to mostly cloudy on Thursday with highs in the 60s. The winds will be gusty from the northwest and could top 35 mph.
The weather will calm down Thursday night and into Friday with skies clearing and temperatures warming to near 70 by the end of the week.
The most significant weather happening with Wednesday night's storm system is near Ark City in Cowley County where some strong winds up to 65 mph could be moving through the area. A severe thunderstorm warning extended east is in effect until about 10:45 p.m.
Also in Cowley County, heavy rain is reported with storms around Winfield, but there doesn't appear to be any hail concern. In Elk County, strong storms north and east of Howard produced small hail and continue moving northeast at about 30 mph.
Steady rain is falling west of Wichita, but moving forward there is not a severe threat. As we go through the rest of the night, potentially flooding rains and strong winds replace large hail as primary threats.
We still have several counties that are at least partially involved in severe thunderstorm warnings. One warning to the south and west of Wichita in Harper County was allowed to expire, signifying that storms are beginning to weaken.
One of the strongest storms on radar is moving through Greenwood County, extended south into Elk County. In Elk County, there are still reports of hail up to about golf-ball sized just south of Howard.
Earlier with this storm in Greenwood County, there was a report of a land spout north of Eureka. This land spout was the second of the evening, following an earlier report near Wellington in Sumner County. Land spouts have the appearance of small tornadoes and behave similarly. However, they do not typically last more than a few minutes nor cause widespread damage. That was the case in both Sumner and Greenwood counties Wednesday evening.
A new thunderstorm warning that was issued for eastern portions of Sedgwick County is now making its way to the Udall area in Sumner County. This storm has shown signs of weakening, but may drop small hail.
South and west of Wichita, the primary concern is possible flash flooding with heavy rainfall, especially along a line from about Anthony in Harper County, east to Argonia in Sumner County.
As storms continue to march through parts of south central Kansas, there's a second report of a land spout, this one north of Eureka. Like the earlier report in Sumner County, this tornado-like feature (at least in appearance) was short lived and did not cause any damage.
By about 9 p.m., the most intense storms are expected to shift south and east of the Kansas Turnpike.
Some of the most intense storm activity continues to drop hail, although instances of the golf-ball-sized stones are becoming fewer are farther in between.
The lightning threat will continue late into the night for south central Kansas, likely to accompany more rain and small hail.
Severe thunderstorm warnings for Cowley County, Butler and Greenwood counties and Sedgwick and Sumner counties are in effect until at least 8:30 p.m.
A storm located over Conway Springs in Sumner County dropped hail reported to be about the size of a half dollar. Similar-sized hail was reported with separate storms near Dexter in Cowley County and Mulvane and Derby south of Wichita.
We've received reports of hail larger than quarter-sized in parts of Sumner County, including Mulvane.
A severe thunderstorm warning is now in effect for southeastern Sedgwick, southwestern Butler and northeastern Sumner counties until 8 p.m. More hail up to about quarter-size is reported with this storm along a line from near Leon to near Rose Hill, moving northeast at about 40 mph. The hail and about 60 mph winds are the main threats.
Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for Harper County until 7:15 p.m. and southern Sedgwick and northwestern Sumner counties until 7:30 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm six miles southeast of Conway Springs brings a threat of up-to half-dollar-sized hail and 60 mph wind gusts. This storm is moving northeast at about 20 mph. With it, a brief land spout tornado was reported about five miles northwest of Wellington. This did not cause any damage.
Quarter-sized hail and 60-mph wind gusts are reported with a storm near Anthony. This storm is moving northeast at 25 mph.
Storm Team 12 is watching developing storms southwest of Wichita. As of 6:15 p.m., the strongest storms are south and west of Wichita along a line from around Anthony in Harper County to near Argonia in Sumner County.
Storm Team 12 chaser Scott Roberts shared video from south of Anthony, showing heavy rain looking southwest. This storm includes small hail so far. The storm is below severe limits at this time but is expected to grow and intensify as it tracks north and east toward the Wichita metro area.
The following counties are in a severe weather watch until midnight:
Allen; Anderson; Barber; Butler; Chase; Chautauqua; Coffey; Comanche; Cowley; Douglas; Elk; Franklin; Greenwood; Harper; Harvey; Kingman; Labette; Lyon; Marion; Montgomery; Neosho; Osage; Pratt; Reno; Sedgwick; Sumner; Wilson; Woodson.