The following is a summary of significant weather events of 2007 which impacted south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. These events were reported to the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska by a variety of sources, including the general public, cooperative observers, local law enforcement, local media and other sources. Links to web stories with more information about some of the events are included. A summary of tornadoes reported for 2007 is included at the end. The 2007 Climate Summary is also available on our website.
January-February | March-April | May-June | July-August | September-October | November-December
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2007 Tornado Summary for south central Nebraska and north central Kansas
||PATH WIDTH (MAX)
||5.2 miles southwest of Gothenburg, NE to 7.7 miles north of Gothenburg, NE
|| 1,320 yards
||1.5 miles southeast of Gaylord, KS
||1.0 mile southwest of Phillipsburg, KS to 1.3 miles west of Phillipsburg, KS
||3.0 miles south of Osborne, KS to 5.0 miles northeast of Osborne, KS
||1.0 mile west of Prairie View, KS
||East side of Hastings, NE to 2.0 miles south southeast of Hastings, NE
January - February
For many people, the start of 2007 meant dealing with the devastating impacts of the ice storm which occurred just prior to New Year’s Day. With thousands of people without power or running on back-up power, and crews rushing to fix the electrical grid, Mother Nature provided the region with above normal temperatures the first two weeks of the year. Around mid-January, the weather turned colder and snow hit the area on the 20th. Snow didn’t return to the area until just prior to Valentine’s Day with an arctic air mass. That didn’t last long as well above normal temperatures rounded out the rest of February. Those warm temperatures caused a quick thaw and some ice jamming across the area.
- January 20-21: Heavy snow of 6 to 9 inches fell across most of south central Nebraska and north central Kansas on this weekend. Winds were not a significant factor. Click here for a storm summary.
- February 12-13: An area east of Hastings and south of York received 6 to 7 inches of snow and blowing snow. Carleton, Nebraska reported 7 inches and 6 inches fell at Bruning, Guide Rock and northeast of Superior. Many schools and events were closed. Icy conditions on Interstate 80 (I-80) near Wood River added to the cause of a two-vehicle, one fatality accident.
- February 16-17: Strong winds pounded the region and caused near blizzard conditions in open country with blowing snow. Ord and Grand Island each reported a 59 mph wind gust, while the wind gusted to 58 mph at Aurora and Hastings. For a time, winds were sustained at over 40 mph. Click here for a summary of wind gusts.
- Late February: Ice jams developed along numerous rivers and creeks across south central Nebraska, including the Cedar River, Mud Creek, Sappa Creek and the Loup River basin. Near the confluence of the Mud Creek and South Loup River near Ravenna, the ice jams resulted in water flowing over State Highway 2 and the Burlington Northern rain racks for a time.
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March - April
The change of seasons got off to a slow start as only one report of severe weather was noted in March. April changed things and thunderstorms rumbled across the area on the second, only to be followed by Arctic air and snow. Severe weather made a rousing return on April 20th in the form of hail, heavy rain and even a tornado.
- April 2: Severe thunderstorms rumbled from Dawson to Sherman County in south central Nebraska. Winds of 70 mph and quarter size hail were reported. In Ord, lightning struck the Evangelical Free Church. The strike caused three holes in the roof and damaged electrical equipment.
- April 3-8: Very cold and somewhat snowy weather settled across the area. Temperatures dropped to 11° at Greeley and Superior, Nebraska, 12° degrees at Burr Oak, Kansas, 13° at Grand Island and 15° at Smith Center, Kansas. One to three inches of snow blanketed much of the area.
- April 20: A tornado crossed I-80 just west of Gothenburg, Nebraska in the evening. The twister turned over vehicles and killed a dozen head of cattle. Damage was noted at several locations along its path. The tornado was rated an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale with an expected wind speed of 110 to 120 mph. The tornado was about three-quarters of a mile wide 5 miles north of Gothenburg. Softball size hail was also reported. A total of nine injuries were reported. Click here for a storm summary and pictures.
- April 24: Severe thunderstorms rumbled across most of south central Nebraska. One inch diameter hail was reported at Glenvil, Inavale and Riverton. Heavy rain on this day was the culmination of several days of rain in the area. From April 20-24, Holdrege received 7" of rain, with over 6" at Kearney and 5" at Wood River. Runoff from the heavy rain flooded county roads and ditches.
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May - June
The most active time of year did not disappoint in 2007 as the severe weather started in the first week of May and continued right through June. The tornadoes were centered in north central Kansas on May 4 and 5, with the most significant twister hitting a part of Osborne, Kansas. Dozens of reports of hail and high winds rolled in the rest of May and June as several events occurred.
- May 4: Two tornadoes were reported in north central Kansas. The first was a brief tornado in a field southeast of Gaylord. This tornado flipped a center pivot system and was rated an EF0. The second tornado clipped the west side of Phillipsburg. This tornado, rated an EF1, damaged rooftops, windows and trees along its 30 to 75 yard wide path. Along with the tornadoes, came wind gusts over 60 mph and hail the size of quarters across north central Kansas. In south central Nebraska, flooding was reported in Franklin and Webster counties thanks to three inches of rain. Some bridges were washed out near Naponee. There were also many reports of hail and gusty winds south and west of Hastings and Holdrege. Click here for a storm summary and pictures.
- May 5: Osborne, Kansas residents were visited by a tornado in their town on this day. The tornado destroyed two mobile homes, damaged roofs, cars, windows and two restaurants on its south to north path across town. The Circle Inn restaurant sustained major roof damage along with substantial interior damage. This tornado was rated an EF2 on its 7.5 mile path and resulted in 11 injuries. In Nebraska, thunderstorms rolled through earlier in the day with winds of 60 to 65 mph and hail. A funnel cloud was reported about 10 miles north of Lexington.
- May 14: Lightning struck the Sutton, Nebraska water tower and damaged some radio equipment in the tower. There were several reports of lightning strikes in Clay County that day.
- May 29: Three to five inches of rain resulted in flash flooding from Furnas county to Hamilton county in south central Nebraska.
- May 31: May wrapped up with an active weather day, including a tornado near Prairie View, Kansas. The tornado caused no damage and was rated an EF0 along its short path. There were also many reports of hail across the area, including baseball size hail 3 miles northwest of Smith Center, Kansas and golf ball size hail near Kensington and Phillipsburg.
- June 13: A funnel cloud was visible from the National Weather Service in Hastings. The funnel actually occurred in southwest Hamilton county.
- June 23: Strong winds from thunderstorms in Smith county, Kansas downed electrical poles in the Bellaire area. Power was out in Bellaire and Lebanon for nearly two hours. See the list of local storm reports.
- June 27: A rogue thunderstorm in Thayer County, Nebraska let loose a lightning bolt on the courthouse in Hebron. The strike resulted in minor damage to some computers. County employees remarked how they felt the hair on their arms stand on end and a tingling sensation just prior to the strike.
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July - August
The depths of the summer months can bring stifling heat and humidity, but also some active weather. 2007 was no different as a wide array of severe weather occurred, highlighted by widespread flooding on August 1st and a brief tornado and very high winds in the Hastings area on August 22.
- July 4: Thunderstorms provided an early morning fireworks show in Kearney and Adams counties in south central Nebraska. 60 mph winds were recorded just before dawn at the Hastings Airport and penny size hail fell in the Wilcox area.
- July 8: Tennis ball size hail fell in northern Valley county at Elyria, Nebraska. This storm was part of an area of scattered severe thunderstorms this evening, including a thunderstorm which produced minor flooding, some hail and 60 mph winds near Oxford and Beaver City in Furnas county.
- July 12: Once again, tennis ball size hail fell, this time near Elwood, Nebraska in Gosper county. Crops were stripped and heavily damaged in Gosper and Furnas counties. Windows were broken and vinyl siding damaged. 58 mph winds were measured at a State of Nebraska Roads Department weather sensor one mile south of Arapahoe.
- July 15: Thunderstorms scattered about the region dropped golf ball size hail near Osborne, Kansas. While no major damage occurred, there were various reports of hail and wind gusts to 60 mph in northern Osborne county and adjacent sections of Jewell and Smith counties.
- July 23: A tropical air mass over the area produced a couple of funnel clouds near York, Nebraska. Local spotter groups watched the funnels form and dissipate as they moved from the northeast to the southwest, which is a very uncommon direction for such weather features to move.
- July 29: Excessive rainfall of 4 to 7 inches in Hamilton county flooded rural roads and forced the Lincoln Creek out of banks. Flooding was reported throughout the county and even extended back to the Grand Island area, where just over five inches of rain fell (5.07"). Click here for a view of heavy rain reports.
- August 1: 3 to 8 inches of rain in the Big Sandy Creek northwest of Alexandria, Nebraska resulted in widespread flooding. A portion of a loaded 133-car coal train derailed as it passed an empty train. Runoff from the heavy rain was believed to have weakened the track bed. Bridge and county road damage in Thayer county was extensive and expensive from the flooding. Extremely heavy, but very localized rainfall in excess of 5 inches pounded the southwest side of Kearney. Widespread street flooding occurred with some cars stalled in bumper deep water. Finally, in Smith county Kansas, 2 to 4 inches of rain in less than two hours resulted in localized flooding, including water flowing over U.S. Highway 36 near Smith Center and street flooding in Lebanon.
- August 6 and 7: The U.S. Highway 6 and 34 corridor west of Hastings was hit hard with heavy rain, high winds and hail. Damage to trees and power lines was common as 60 mph winds ripped the area. Farther northeast, in Nance and Polk counties, heavy rain in excess of 6 inches dowsed the region causing the Davis Creek, Prairie Creek and Big Blue River to flood. Earlier in the day of the 7th, high winds of 60 mph or more moved from around Sherman Reservoir near Loup City, Nebraska, east across Howard and Nance counties. Large trees and power poles/lines dropped in the excessive wind.
- August 20: This was the first day of a wild period of severe weather for just about everybody in the region. On the 20th, a marriage of high winds and hail resulted in damage to crops, vehicles and some structures across Nance, Merrick and Polk counties. Winds in excess of 60 mph were common as hail as large as golf balls pounded the area. Property damage was in the thousands of dollars while crop damaged reached the millions. In north central Kansas, winds of 65 mph in Beloit caused considerable tree damage. On a farmstead in eastern Phillips county, a carport and outbuildings were destroyed by strong winds.
- August 21: Severe thunderstorms rolled from Gosper to Sherman counties in south central Nebraska. In Elwood, the "crow’s nest" (i.e. announcer’s booth) at the football field was blown apart by the wind. Baseball size hail fell along Highway 58 between Rockville and Loup City.
- August 22: Minor damage was reported from a brief tornado on the east side of Hastings, Nebraska. This tornado was rated an EF0. Damage from the tornado itself was minor, but winds in excess of 70 mph caused major tree damage and some structural damage throughout Hastings. Hastings was just the beginning of a corridor of high winds which travelled east down U.S. Highway 6 across Clay and Fillmore counties. A 79 mph wind gust was reported 12 miles east of Hastings. At Saronville, a 125-foot tall grain bin was completely destroyed, after it had just been completed. Over $100,000 in electrical equipment had to be scrapped. The winds pulled the anchor bolts out of the cement slab foundation. In Fairmont, the roof was torn from a local car wash. Many pivots were overturned and numerous outbuildings were damaged or destroyed. There were numerous reports of flooding in Clay and Fillmore counties. See results of the damage survey and pictures.
- August 28: Isolated severe thunderstorms in Webster county Nebraska caused minor damage to structures in Red Cloud. At least two homes had broken windows and large trees fell around town.
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September - October
A second season of active weather often happens as we change to autumn and 2007 held true to form as hail, wind and heavy rain occurred. Even a small part of the Republican River flooded in early October.
- September 6: Thunderstorms ripped across a section of south central Nebraska, mainly south and west of Holdrege. A swath of crop damage, overturned pivots and minor property damage was the result from supercells passing over the area. The worst damage was in southern Gosper county and northeast Furnas county where 70 mph winds and golf ball size hail occurred. Large trees fell in the wind in Oxford along with baseball size hail. Dime size hail and 60 mph winds were reported in Franklin county. Crop and property damage easily reached several million dollars.
- September 18: Thunderstorms along the Highway 81 corridor from York to Hebron, Nebraska resulted in a brief funnel cloud east of Geneva and 60 mph winds at Ohiowa. Heavy rain of 1 to 3 inches was common and a few cars were stranded in the flood waters in York.
- September 24: Winds of 60 to 70 mph were reported in Shickley and near Clay Center Nebraska with passing thunderstorms. No damage was reported. There was a report of a tornado near Blue Hill, Nebraska, but an off-duty National Weather Service employee reported blowing dust from the high winds, and no tornado occurred.
- October 5: Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches in the Elm, Crooked and Willow Creek basins caused flash flooding and eventually forced the Republican River near Guide Rock, Nebraska to spill over its banks. The river crested at 11.3 ft or just a bit above its 11 ft. flood stage. No significant damage was reported.
- October 14 through 17: Thunderstorms periodically moved through the region during these few days, some of which were severe. Penny to nickel size hail covered the ground on the 14th west of Arapahoe, Nebraska. The storms continued north into the Cozad area. The 17th was a bit more active as hail as large as golf balls fell in the Phillipsburg, Kansas area. Heavy rain of 2 inches in about one hour caused minor low land flooding north of town. Those thunderstorms extended north into south central Nebraska near Holbrook where golf ball size hail fell.
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November - December
The final two months of the year began pretty uneventful. In fact, there were no major weather events reported during November. That changed in December, as the area became mired in a wet and cold weather pattern, which brought snow, ice and a lasting snow cover for much of the month.
- December 1: After a quiet November, December began with just what many people didn’t want, an ice storm. Ice accumulations were reported across all of south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. The thickest accumulations of about one-half inch were noted along and north of I-80 at places like Lexington, Hampton, Greeley and Shelby, Nebraska. Ice accumulations ranged from one-tenth to one-quarter inch elsewhere. Check out the ice accumulations.
- December 5-6: Three to six inches of snow fell in an area bounded by York, Grand Island and Fullerton, Nebraska. Shelby reported 6" of snow. View the snow reports.
- December 10-11: Another round of ice and snow hit the area. The snow was heaviest along the U.S. Highway corridor in south central Nebraska from Columbus to Lexington. Snowfall of 4 to 6 inches was common in that area. Farther south, ice was the story. Ice accumulations of nearly one-half inch were common along Highway 14 from around Aurora, Nebraska to Beloit, Kansas. There were also significant ice accumulations in Furnas and Harlan counties in south central Nebraska. See the snow and ice accumulations.
- December 14-15: The train of snow events continued with the heaviest snowfall to date, this time across north central Kansas. Over 10 inches of snow fell to the south of Highway 24. The Cheyenne Gap area of southern Osborne county reported just over one foot of new snow. To the north, Smith Center and Mankato reported 5 inches and Phillipsburg 6 inches. Snow amounts tapered off to 1 to 2 inches north of I-80 in south central Nebraska. See the snow accumulations.
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Page composed by the staff of the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.