2005 Severe Weather Summary

Extreme east central and northeast Kansas


The 2005 hazardous weather season in extreme east central and northeast Kansas can generally be characterized for being unusually quiet overall. Little in the way of significant winter weather was noted early in the year, and there were just a handful of days that featured significant severe convective storms.


A winter storm struck portions of the region early in January. Atchison and Doniphan Counties reported winter storm conditions, with ¼” to ¾” of ice followed by 2 to 5 inches of snow from the 3rd to the 5th. Anywhere from ¼” to 1” of ice was noted further south across the remainder of eastern Kansas. Quickly on the heels of this burst of winter weather, snow melt and locally excessive rainfall produced river flooding along the Marais Des Cygne River in Linn and Miami Counties. On January 31st, a very localized band of heavy snow occurred across Miami County, with six inches of snow reported in Louisburg. 


February was a fairly quiet month. An additional burst of 3 to 4 inches of snow fell on February 8th across eastern Kansas. While the snowfall was not that particularly heavy, the snow fell in a two-hour time frame, right before the evening rush hour, across Leavenworth, Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. This led to numerous accidents and delays of nearly four hours during the evening commute!


Very little significant weather was noted in March, with a penny size hail report near Paola the only report of significance. Things quickly changed though by April. Active severe weather was noted on April 11th, with numerous reports of penny to quarter size hail. April 21st was the most active day of the month. Two inch diameter hail was observed in Effingham, and brief tornado touchdowns were also noted by storm spotters or chasers west of Atchison and also along the Atchison/Leavenworth County line. No damage was noted from these two F0 twisters, but extensive property damage was common in western Atchison County and northwest Leavenworth County from the hail. 


May also remained relatively quiet by Kansas standards. A period of severe weather was observed from the 11th to the 13th. Hail up to golf ball size fell on the 11th in Leavenworth, just west of Easton and in Lansing. These storms also produced flash flooding in Leavenworth, Atchison, Doniphan and Wyandotte Counties. Stranger Creek near Easton also flooded on the 13th


June was the most active month for severe weather and flooding across extreme east central and northeast Kansas. Significant severe storms developed on the 4th, but their impact just grazed Kansas as they focused their wrath further east into Missouri. Flash flooding was noted across portions of Johnson, Leavenworth, Atchison and Miami Counties, while hail to golf ball size and damaging thunderstorm winds occurred with a developing supercell across Doniphan and northern Atchison Counties. This supercell did produce a brief tornado touchdown just west of the Missouri River in extreme eastern Doniphan County. This was the last of the three tornadoes to strike extreme eastern and northeast Kansas for the 2005 storm season. Flooding and flash flooding were quite common from the 4th to the 9th , especially along Stranger Creek and the Marais Des Cygne River. Other rounds of severe storms brought rain as large as golf ball size on the 7th and 8th. More river flooding was noted from the 12th to the 19th, with a final round of marginal severe weather noted across Miami and Linn Counties on the 30th.


July shaped up as a hot and relatively dry month. A few thunderstorms late on the evening of July 3rd brought damaging winds to portions of Johnson and Miami Counties. Excessive heat built in by the latter half of the month though, and the first heat related fatality in many years was noted in Bonner Springs on July 23rd.


Our weather pattern turned wetter as we headed into August. Thunderstorms brought damaging winds and flash flooding to the entire area on the 18th and 19th. Lightning struck a residence at Fort Leavenworth on the 20th, causing around $30,000 in damage.   In September, damaging thunderstorm winds were noted during the late afternoon hours of the 13th in Linn and Miami Counties.


October certainly gave a dramatic ending to the 2005 severe weather season. Catastrophic flash flooding occurred on the 2nd in the Stranger Creek basin covering western Atchison and Leavenworth Counties. The Stranger Creek near Easton set a new record crest of 26 feet the afternoon of October 2nd. Damage estimates of public and private properties were near $5 million, and evacuations were needed in Easton during the day on October 2nd. This flooding was caused by anywhere from 6 inches to 12 inches of rain that fell during the early morning hours of October 2nd

Mike Hudson

Warning Coordination Meteorologist

National Weather Service Kansas City/Pleasant Hill, MO

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