Kansas storms bring large hail, driving rain, powerful wind

Published: Apr. 30, 2018 at 11:44 PM CDT
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Update: Thursday 5:45 a.m.

Meteorologist Mark Larson says we'll see a few showers and storms pass through parts of Kansas Thursday but severe weather will not be a huge issue today.

We'll see a mix of sun and clouds Thursday with widely scattered, afternoon showers and isolated storms across parts of northern and eastern Kansas.

A few strong storms will be possible around northeastern Kansas but we will not see widespread severe weather. Winds will be gusty and highs will range from the 60s northwest to the mid 80s southeast.

The wind will back-off Friday with highs in the 70s under a mostly sunny sky.

Our weekend will be warm and dry with highs in upper 70s to low to mid 80s and lots of sunshine.


Another active day for severe Kansas weather delivered large hail, powerful winds and at least one brief tornado. Storms packed a lot of energy when they fired up in central Kansas, but diminished as they moved east. By the time stormy weather arrived in the Wichita area, the primary concern was blinding rain and potential flooding concerns.

Wednesday updates
Wednesday night wrap-up

The second consecutive day for eventful Kansas weather has passed as we know look forward to the calm after the storms. The weather should begin to calm down for the rest of the week as Wednesday's severe weather moves out of the area.

Severe storms will be out of Kansas by early Thursday and temperatures will only cool down to the 50s and 60s overnight before warming back up into the 70s and 80s by Thursday afternoon.

Our next chance for evening storms doesn't come again until next Tuesday (May 8). Currently, these next potential storms are not expected to be severe.

Storms could produce large hail, damaging wind and a few tornadoes today. Meteorologist Sarah Fletcher has the latest...

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Wednesday, May 2, 2018


6:30 p.m.

The threat for severe weather has diminished. The severe wind threat and large hail have taken a backseat to driving rain. The downpour outside the KWCH studio is part of the weakened storm continuing to move east. Moving into Wednesday night, the primary concern now is street flooding.


6 p.m.

Storms moving into Sedgwick County are not classified as severe, but they still pose a threat with strong wind and heavy rainfall, making driving conditions difficult. Storms in the Wichita area continue to move east.


5:30 p.m.

Eastern Reno County is no longer included in a severe thunderstorm warning, but we're still looking at heavy rainfall. The severe thunderstorm continues in Kingman County with wind gusts that could approach 60 mph.

The state's lone tornado warning is in Clay County, in effect until 5:45 p.m.


5:15 p.m.

The most significant hail-producing storm in Kansas is in the McPherson area where winds of about 50 mph are reported with ping-pong-ball-sized hail.

Lightning is to blame for a pair of tank battery fires in Reno and Russell counties, including a blaze near the Reno County town of Langdon.

WATCH LIVE: Tank battery fire near Langdon in Reno County. https://bit.ly/2JKN643 #kwch12

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Wednesday, May 2, 2018


5 p.m.

The Greater Wichita YMCA is the latest in canceling outdoor games and practices due to the threat of severe weather. Several school districts in the area also canceled after-school activities Wednesday.

We've learned a short-lived tornado touched down south of Minneapolis in Ottawa County. The tornado did not leave any damage. A much larger tornado that touched down in the county Tuesday near Tescott registered as an EF-3 by the National Weather Service.


4:50 p.m.

Several thunderstorm warnings remain in effect in Kansas, including eastern Reno County. This warning is in effect until at least 5:45 p.m. A hail report near Hutchinson was less than one inch in diameter, but there could still be strong winds with this storm, moving east. The good news is that the wind gusts associated with storms moving into the area are not the 80 to 90-mph winds we witnessed earlier in Pratt County.


4:25 p.m.

A new tornado warning impacting an area in north central Kansas now has Cloud County in a tornado warning until ate least 5 p.m. The warning for Ottawa County is also in place until 5 p.m. There was a report of a brief tornado near Ottawa

Storms that could impact Wichita include a line from Stafford County back into Pratt.


4:15 p.m.

A tornado warning for western Ottawa County is in effect until at least 4:30 p.m. A storm capable of producing a tornado was spotted about five miles northeast of Tescott. This is the site where an EF-3 tornado hit yesterday.


4 p.m.

Reports of up-to-92 mph winds are reported in Pratt County. We know there are power lines down in the area. There are reports of roofs being blown off of buildings in Iuka, north of Pratt. This storm is moving east into Reno County. There are also reports of large hail near Pratt.

PRATT HAIL! Danielle Mayer sent us this video of the heavy rain and hail coming down in Pratt. We're told there are downed power lines and possibly a blown over semi near the John Deere dealership on north US-281. https://bit.ly/2JKN643 #kwch12 #storm12

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Wednesday, May 2, 2018


3:50 p.m.

Radar showing rotation along the Lincoln/Ottawa County line brings another tornado warning for southwest Ottawa County, an area also impacted by Tuesday night's storms.

We're hearing reports of minor damage near Pratt in the form of down power poles. Information from the storm that caused this indicated it's capable of production 80 to 90-plus-mph winds.

Part of Highway 281 is closed due to the down power lines. Severe storms with powerful winds are moving toward the Hutchinson area.


3:30 p.m.

There are no reports of damage in Edwards County where a tornado warning accompanied a strong storm Wednesday afternoon, but the powerful winds resulted in a loss of power for about 600 people.


3:20 p.m.

Powerful winds with storms in Pratt and Stafford counties are capable of reaching 80 to even 90 mph. These storms could impact Kingman and western sections of Reno County if they continue to hold.


2:55 p.m.

We've received reports of hail and winds of about 60 mph in Greensburg, one of several areas already impacted by Wednesday's severe storms. Storms are expected to approach central and south central Kansas within the next couple hours.


2:50 p.m.

There are no tornado warnings in Kansas, but storms near Great Bend have shown some rotation. This storm is moving northeast. The warning associated with this storm includes Great Bend and Hoisington. People in those areas are advised to stay away from doors and windows as the storm approaches.

Wind and hail are the primary threats with storms in a line including Pratt and Stafford, moving east. Minor damage including down power lines is possible with these storms.


2:40 p.m.

Barton County is added to the list of counties in a severe thunderstorm warning. This includes Great Bend. An area of circulation was reported near Pawnee Rock, but there is no tornado warning at this time.

Up to golf-ball-sized hail was reported near Larned in Pawnee County. This storm is moving northeast into Barton County.

A line of thunderstorms further south including the Greensburg area in Kiowa County poses a threat with winds of 70 to 80 mph.


2:20 p.m.

The day's first tornado warning is in effect for north central Kiowa County and southwestern Edwards County. At 2:15 p.m., a severe squall line capable of producing a tornado was located 10 miles southeast of Offerle, moving northeast at 50 mph.


1:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service has rated a large tornado that hit in Ottawa County, near the town Tescott, an EF-3.

The peak winds measured 140 mph. The tornado traveled 14.5 miles and measured 880 yards.

The NWS says the tornado formed at 7:41 p.m. about 4.5 miles southwest of Tescott and ended at 8:10 p.m. about 1.8 miles W of Minneapolis.

The NWS says most of damage rated EF-2 with a small area of EF-3 damage as the tornado began to rope out.

Storm Team 12 says another round of intense thunderstorms will fire-up Wednesday afternoon when the best chances for severe weather will be across central and eastern Kansas.

Storms will most likely develop east of Dodge City then quickly form a line extending northeastward toward Salina and Topeka. The entire line is expected to march eastward however, individual storms will probably move to the northeast. Hail up to two inches, and more, damaging winds and a few tornadoes will all be threats through this evening. Wednesday is a Storm Team 12 Weather Alert Day due to the severe storm threat.

Thunderstorms will most likely roll though the overnight hours and into Thursday morning but the threat for severe weather should wind-down after midnight.

1:10 p.m.

A Tornado watch is issued for several counties from Southwest to Northeastern Kansas until 10:00 p.m. It includes Wichita, Hutchinson & Salina.

Storms developing across southwest and central Kansas will continue to move to the northeast at 25-40 mph.

Meteorologist Ross Janssen says the storms will be capable of large hail (maybe over tennis ball size in some areas) throughout the afternoon and early evening.

The entire line of storms will gradually shift east with time, and will impact most of the area through 8 and 9 p.m. Late into the night, storms will end up along and east of the Flint Hills.

A few tornadoes are possible today, but the biggest threat will be very large hail and some powerful wind gusts over 70 mph.


Due to inclement weather Maize USD 266 has cancelled all events and practices after school Wednesday.


The severe weather season made a late, but loud start with powerful storms impacting much of central Kansas Tuesday. Storms produced large, damaging hail, strong, damaging winds and tornadoes including one large wedge tornado that left damage near Tescott in Ottawa County.

Another bout of severe weather is expected for Wednesday, with more of the state in an enhanced or even moderate risk for severe storms. Wichita will be among areas that could be impacted by potentially damaging storms Wednesday.

You can follow the weather progression from Tuesday as storms fired up, gained strength and moved with updates below:


6 a.m. update

Westar says around 1500 customers are without power in the Salina area. You can track and report power outages here:

Westar expects all outages related to Tuesday's storm to be restored by 10:00 p.m. tonight.

To report your outage text REG to 97827. To report an outage, text OUT to 97827.

Tescott Damage

USD 240 in Twin Valley says Tescott Schools will start two hours late Wednesday because of a power outage.

Bennington Schools will be open and will start on time.

A homeowner in Tescott says they feel fortunate the storms only damaged their shed.

They were in the basement of their home when the storm struck, they could see tree branches and other debris flying by their basement windows.

"I knew the house was okay," said Becky Bremerman. "Because I came up stairs it was still okay then it wasn't quite as bad as I thought."

An insurance adjuster will be out today to assess the damage.

9 p.m.

Tornado threats in north central Kansas are dissipating, but storms continue to hold strength as large hail producers.

At about 8:30 p.m., hail stones of about two inches in diameter were reported near Sylvan Grove in Lincoln County.


8:30 p.m.

A new tornado warning for the northwest corner of Ottawa County shows rotation with a storm expected to stay northwest of Minneapolis.

This warning is in effect until at least 9 p.m.

Tornado warnings for Clay, Cloud and Dickinson counties are also in effect until at least 9 p.m.


8 p.m.

We're hearing reports of possible damage from a large wedge tornado that touched down near Tescott in Ottawa County. This includes reported damage to a home and power lines down along K-18.

Large rain wrapped Tornado Tescott!!! Share 🌪🌪

Posted by Jake Fine on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ottawa County remains in a tornado warning until at least 8:30 p.m. Tornado warnings for Clay and Lincoln counties are in effect until at least 8:45 pm.


6:55 p.m.

A dangerous storm continuing its move east in northern Kansas comes with a tornado warning that continues to impact Cloud County. This warning remains in effect until 7:30 p.m.

A tornado warning for Lincoln County is in effect until 8 p.m.

Storms southwest in Comanche County are beginning to weaken as the primary threats remain in north central Kansas, moving east.


6:40 p.m.

A new tornado warning is issued for Comanche County, far south and west of the other main tornado threat moving into Cloud County. This warning is in effect until at least 7 p.m.


6:35 p.m.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports a jack-knifed semi truck impacting traffic on Interstate 70 near Wilson in Ellsworth County. This happened at mile post 205, the KHP reports.


6:30 p.m.

Tornado warnings for Ellsworth and Lincoln counties are in effect until 7 p.m. As of 6:30, the only confirmed tornado of the day was reported south of Beloit in Mitchell County.


6:15 p.m.

The season's first tornado was reported along Highway 14 south of Beloit in Mitchell County. The tornado warning in Mitchell County remains in effect until 6:45 p.m. Cloud County and Ottawa Counties are also in a tornado warning with this storm until at least 7 p.m.


6:10 p.m.

A tornado warning is issued for Mitchell County in north central Kansas until at least 6:30 p.m. The impacted area is south of Beloit. This storm is expected to be a significant hail producer, as well as producing a lot of lightning and with that, claps of thunder.


6 p.m.

There is a report of grapefruit-sized hail falling near Susank in northern Barton County. This comes out to about four inches in diameter. This dangerous storm has moved into southeast Russell County. Near Hoisington, radar indicates the presence of large hail, possibly up to golf-ball-sized.


5:45 p.m.

A tornado warning issued for northern sections of Barton County includes an area north of Great Bend and north of Hoisington. There have been a couple reports of a rotating wall cloud.

A tornado warning is also in effect for Edwards County comes with rotation in an area south of Kinsley.

5:20 p.m.

A tornado warning for remains in effect for northern sections of Jewell County until at least 5:30 pm. There have been no reports of a tornado. What Storm Team 12 is seeing are strong winds capable of gusting up to about 70 mph. This storm is moving east.

Farther south, storms north of Russell include hail of about quarter-sized and wind gusts up to about 60 mph. The city of Russell is not impacted.

South of Russell, the largest hail of the day was reported in the Otis area in eastern Rush County. Hail passed to the north/northwest of Hoisington has come with hail of up to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.


4:30 p.m.

A tornado warning for northwest Pawnee County and Rush County is in effect until at least 5 p.m. Storm Team 12 reports an area of rotation south of LaCrosse. There are no reports of tornadoes with any of these warnings issued so far.


4:15 p.m.

Tornado warnings are in effect for Smith and Jewell counties until at least 4:30 p.m.


4 p.m.

The greatest concentration for severe weather remains in north central Kansas, north of the Hays area. The tornado watch in effect until at least 10 p.m. includes several counties and the cities of Hays, Dodge City, Hutchinson, Great Bend and Salina.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Smith County includes storms that have produced hail of up to one inch in diameter. This storm has moved off to the northwest of Smith Center, moving northeast at 35 to 40 mph.

Farther south, strong thunderstorms go back into northwest Osborn County, now east of Stockton and northwest of Plainville. Some of these storms are also capable of producing one-inch hail.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Hays and an area north of two comes with heavy rainfall and the threat for small hail of no more than about one quarter inch in diameter.

Another rapidly-developing storm was reported near Jetmore, north of Dodge City. This storm is moving northeast at about 35 to 40 mph


3:30 p.m.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for eastern Trego and central Ellis counties untli 3:45 p.m. Large hail, up to 2" in diameter and wind gusts around 60 mph will be possible as the storm moves to the northeast at 40 mph.


2:55 p.m.

A tornado watch has been issued for the following counties until 10 p.m.

Barber, Barton, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Comanche, Dickinson, Edwards, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Geary, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kingman, Kiowa, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Mitchell, Ness, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Smith, Stafford and Washington.

Parts of central and north-central Kansas are under a moderate risk for severe weather. A few tornadoes likely with a couple of intense tornadoes possible. Hail up to 3.5" in diameter (tea cup to almost grapefruit size) and 75 mph wind gusts.

Storm Team 12 will continue to track the storms as they move across the state. Stay ahead of the weather with the Storm Team 12 app, Always On Storm Team 12 and KWCH-12.


Tuesday, May 1

Storm Team 12 has issued WEATHER ALERT DAYS for Tuesday and Wednesday as the storm threat continues.

The year's first real threats for severe weather in Kansas arrive this week with strong to severe storms we're accustomed to seeing at least a few times throughout the season, usually beginning earlier than the start of May.

Tuesday brings the first real severe weather threats the Sunflower State has seen in 2018. These threats of medium to large hail, strong wind gusts of up to 70 mph and heavy rain largely impact areas in the north central part of the state, stretching east to north of Topeka and well into south central and southeast Nebraska.

Areas farther south, including a band between Dodge City and Wichita are in a slight risk for thunderstorm activity Tuesday. You'll want to monitor conditions closely with us online, on air and via the Storm Team 12 app Tuesday, but the more expanded threat and the first mention of isolated tornado chances come Wednesday.

On Wednesday, a little more than half of the state, stretching from just west of Salina, east into Missouri, north into Nebraska and south well into Oklahoma is in an enhanced threat fro severe storms that could bring large hail up to near three inches in diameter, wind gusts of up to about 70 mph and isolated tornadoes.

Stick with Storm Team 12 with LIVE updates as storms develop, strengthen and move.

The threat for severe weather will increase over the next few days in Kansas. Chief Meteorologist Ross Janssen and Meteorologist Sarah Fletcher have the details...

Posted by KWCH 12 Eyewitness News on Monday, April 30, 2018

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