LIVE SEVERE WEATHER BLOG: Powerful storms, tornadoes move through W. KS

Published: May. 24, 2016 at 4:15 PM CDT
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Storm Team 12 has issued a Weather Alert Day for another round of storms popping up in Kansas. The storms, whch started stirring out west are part of a system that could bring heavy rain, hail and several isolated tornadoes.

The first severe thunderstorm warning of the afternoon was soon followed by a tornado warning in Scott County where a large tornado was spotted, southwest of Scott City. The tornado warning for Scott County remained in effect until 4:30 p.m. It was issued a little before 4 p.m.

A large area of western Kansas remained in a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight. A tornado watch remained in effect for much of central and south central Kansas, including Wichita, until 2 a.m.

Severe storms with strong winds, hail and heavy rain continued to move east across central and south central Kansas, including Sedgwick County as we approach the overnight hours.

The forecast for Wednesday calls for increased sunshine in the afternoon and a break from severe weather. the next round of storms are expected Thursday.


UPDATE--10:30 p.m.: Severe weather continues to push into central Kansas with frequent lighting flashes, flooding and strong winds. Wind in western Cloud County has been reported at about 60 mph. There was also a report of about 62 mph wind gusts in Saline County.

Intense, frequent lightning strikes were reported in McPherson and Reno counties. Flooding has been reported in the Hutchinson area, including street flooding on Plum Street in the city. About 2,000 Westar Energy customers are without power in Reno County.

Storms with strong wind gusts up to about 60 mph are expected to move into Sedgwick County by about 11 p.m. Farther west, law enforcement in Stafford County reported a tree fell onto a vehicle in St. John. A large area of central and south central Kansas remains in a tornado watch until 2 a.m., but the tornado threat continues to weaken.


UPDATE--9:30 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for Pratt County and portions of Stafford County until 10 p.m. An area of rotation was spotted east of Pratt, but no tornado has been confirmed. This storm is moving northeast.


UPDATE--9:15 p.m.: Although the tornado activity has mostly calmed, strong thunderstorms that developed in western Kansas continue to make their way into the central part of the state. Strong thunderstorms have moved into southwestern sections of Lincoln County, extending into northwestern Ellsworth County. Radar shows this system moving northeast at 25 to 30 mph. Hail and strong winds are the primary threats with this storm.

Severe thunderstorms also continue in Stafford County with nickel-sized hail and wind gusts up to 65 to 70 mph. The severe thunderstorm warning for Edwards, Pawnee and Stafford County continues until at least 9:30 p.m.

A tornado warning for southeastern Pratt County was allowed to expire, but a strong thunderstorm was reported in Pratt.

Big thunderstorms are ongoing in western Kingman County into southwestern Reno County. These storms continuing to move northeast and could reach Hutchinson. Hutchinson has been included in a severe thunderstorm warning until at least 10 p.m.


UPDATE--9 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for eastern Rush County and western portions of Barton County until 9:30 p.m. There was a report of a tornado near the Otis area, but the rotation appears to be weakening. Emergency management in Barton County confirms a roof was blown off of a building and there are power lines down in the Hoisington area.


UPDATE--8:45 p.m.: Ford County Public Information Officer and Interim City Administrator JD Gilbert tells us emergency crews are searching homes to make sure everyone made it out of structures that were damaged in Tuesday night's storms near Dodge City. There are reports of critical injuries, but no confirmed fatalities. Several buildings have been damaged and power lines down. The Ford County landfill building was destroyed and power was temporarily out at the government center.


UPDATE--8:10 p.m.: Radar indicates there is still a tornado on the ground about eight miles southeast of Kinsley in Edwards County. This appears to be the only tornado happening at this time.

A tornado watch for much of central Kansas, including Hutchinson and Wichita is in effect until 2 a.m.

We expect to know more about damage and updates from the Dodge City area between 8:30 and 9 p.m.

Closer to Wichita, golf ball-sized hail was reported near Zenda in southwest Kingman County. Kingman and Harper counties are in a severe thunderstorm warning.


UPDATE--7:50 p.m.: There are two areas where tornadoes are confirmed, one south of Jetmore in Hodgeman County and one in Edwards County.

We are starting to receive damage reports from in and near Dodge City:

*A propane tank was reported spewing gas on the highway near Dodge City.

*People were reported trapped in a basement near 13th and Division on the west side of Dodge City.

*U.S. 50 between Dodge City and Cimarron is closed.

*Structures were damaged about six miles north of Dodge City.

*a home and a barn were damaged about five miles southeast of Ensign.

There has also been major damage reported southwest of Dodge City.


UPDATE--7:40 p.m.: A tornado has been confirmed about eight miles south of Jetmore. This storm is moving northeast at about 20 mph over southern Hodgeman County.


UPDATE--7:36 pm.: A storm in southern Edwards County, to the south of Kinsley has included reports of a large tornado. People in southern Edwards County are encouraged to take tornado precautions. In Kiowa County, large hail has been reported in the Greensburg area.


UPDATE--7:30 p.m.: Two tornadoes are confirmed with the strong storm north of Dodge City, no longer threatening the city. Here's a look at the tornado warnings in effect:

--Ellis, Rush, Barber and Edwards counties until 8 p.m., Barber, Edwards, Kiowa and Pratt counties until 7:45 p.m. and Haskell, Meade and Seward Counties until 7:45 p.m.


UPDATE--7:15 p.m.: Several houses were damaged west of Dodge City. Storm Team 12 chaser Mikey Gribble, who reported the damage in the area to us, also confirms a semi truck has tipped onto its side on Highway 50.


UPDATE--7:06 p.m.: A tornado is still in progress in Ford County, but the threat has passed Dodge City to the northwest of the city.


UPDATE--7 p.m.: A new tornado warning has been issued for Ford, Gray an Hodgeman Counties until 7:30 p.m. for a large tornado that has developed west of Dodge City. A tornado warning for Barber, Edwards, Kiowa, Pratt and Stafford counties is in effect until 7:45 p.m.


UPDATE-- 6:50 p.m.: Anyone in the downtown area of Dodge City, westward needs to take shelter immediately as a very dangerous situation continues with a tornado on the ground.

A separate storm has produced a tornado near Ness City.


UPDATE--6:45 p.m.: A new tornado warning has been issued for Ford County. Radar shows evidence of strong circulation continuing southwest of Dodge City. A well-defined wall cloud west of Dodge City was spotted on KWCH sky cam. A tornado emergency has been declared for Dodge. City.

UPDATE-- 6:30 p.m.: Damage has been confirmed just east of Ensign in Gray County, about 14 miles southwest of Dodge City. Emergency management confirms a structure has been flattened and vehicles flipped and rolled. The storm in Ford County approaching the Dodge City area has three tornadoes formed, one large tornado and two smaller tornadoes, just to its northeast.


UPDATE--6:25 p.m.: A large tornado has been confirmed in southern Ness County. Another tornado developed about eight miles southwest of Dodge City is continuing its track near the city within the next 10 to 15 minutes.


UPDATE-- 6:15 p.m.: The tornado in southern Ford County, south of Dodge City is continuing its track north and east. A tornado warning for Hodgeman, Lane, Ness, Pawnee, Rush and Trego counties is in effect until 7 p.m. A tornado warning for portions of Haskell, Meade and Seward counties is also in effect until about 7 p.m.


UPDATE-- 6 p.m.: A tornado has been confirmed about nine miles northwest of Minneola, which is just south of Dodge City. People in Dodge City are encouraged to seek shelter as this storm heads in the direction of the city.


UPDATE--5:55 p.m.: A new tornado warning has been issued for Finney, Hodgeman, Lane and Ness Counties until 6:30 p.m. This includes a large batch of storms between Dighton and Ness City. A number of tornadoes have been confirmed on the northern edge of this line of storms.


UPDATE--5:40 p.m.: A tornado has been confirmed over northern sections of Lane County, close to the unincorporated community of Shields. This storm continues to move north of the Dighton area.

Large thunderstorms have also flared up east of Dighton. Large hail is anticipated with the severe thunderstorm warning extending to western portions of Ness County and up into the southwest corner of Trego County.

A tornado warning has been issued for Ford County, south of Dodge City until 6:15 p.m. This storm has been reported to produce a wall cloud. The warning includes Dodge City. Another tornado warning is in effect for areas just east of Liberal in southeast Seward County and southwest Meade County, also until 6:15 p.m.


UPDATE--5:27 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for portions of Ford, Clark and Meade counties until 5:45 pm.


UPDATE--5:20 p.m.: A confirmed tornado north and west of Dighton remained on the ground for about five minutes, according to Storm Team 12 chaser Ed O'Neal. This tornado followed a more brief tornado near Dighton. A tornado warning for northeast Scott County and northern Lane County remains in effect until 5:45 p.m.

Another strong thunderstorm has developed near Dighton and south of the town in Lane County. A new thunderstorm warning has been issued for southeastern Gray County and portions of Ford County, extended south into Meade County. A new storm is also developing east of Liberal in Seward County, further south and west.


UPDATE--5 p.m.: A new tornado warning has been issued for northeast Scott County and northern Lane County until 5:45 p.m. This storm is moving away from Scott City and also looks like it won't have any significant impact on Dighton.


UPDATE--4:48 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for northwest Lane County and northeast Scott County until 5:30 p.m. Large hail is still expected from this storm, but there is no longer an indication of a tornado on the ground in Scott County. There has been no confirmed damage with the large tornado that made its way northeast of Scott City.


UPDATE-- 4:26 p.m.: The rope tornado spotted just south and west of Scott City is dissipating. From the field, Storm Team 12 meteorologist Dean Jones reports spotting debris with the tornado and reports areas of rotation remain with this storm.

A new tornado warning that stretches from around Scott City into eastern portions of Scott County is in effect until 5 p.m.

Tornado headed into Scott City. Video taken at 4:10pm. Large tornado! #storm12

Posted by Dean Jones on Tuesday, May 24, 2016