...June 8, 2005: Severe Weather across Eastern Kansas/Western Missouri...

An early morning complex of thunderstorms over southern Iowa slowly drifted to the south and into north central and central Missouri during the morning of June 8th. Hail around 1 inch in diameter was observed in several communities from Chillicothe to Boonville, as well as flash flooding in the communities of Chillicothe, Salisbury, Axtell, Clark, and Prairie Home. These storms dissipated shortly before sunset.

Meanwhile, a stationary boundary across eastern Kansas, in combination with dewpoints in the low to mid 70s, allowed thunderstorms to rapidly develop during the afternoon on June 8th. Storms initially formed along the surface boundary extending from Topeka to Emporia and Wichita, and slowly moved to the northeast into Leavenworth County. Ping pong ball and golf ball sized hail were noted in the Easton and Jarbalo areas, with flash flooding occurring in the city of Leavenworth.

Radar signatures, used in conjunction with spotter reports, indicated that extreme winds would be the primary threat with these storms once they approached the Kansas City metro. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued, highlighting the potential for significant wind damage. As the storms began to move to the southeast, several locations in the greater Kansas City area experienced straight line winds in excess of 70 mph, with some reports of gusts in excess of 85mph in the Lee's Summit area. While there were no tornadoes across Kansas City on the evening of the 8th, most tornadoes that do strike have wind speeds of less than 100 mph, and wind will do the same magnitude of damage whether it is rotating or otherwise. In fact, many of the Severe Thunderstorm Warnings advised people to treat these storms as they would a tornado, even though the tornado risk was next to zero. There were no radar signatures or spotter reports of any tornadoes with these storms, but there were numerous reports of chaotic cloud motions along the leading edge of these storms, with the shelf cloud (large lowered cloud base that preceded the rain and wind).

Below are two radar images captured at 9pm. The first is a reflectivity image of the line of storms as they approached Raytown, Grandview, and Lee's Summit. The second is a base velocity image at the same time, showing winds of greater than 80mph approaching these areas. Click for a larger image.

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Below is a map of all severe reports received by NOAA's National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill. Click the map for a larger image.

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