Northwest Kansas

June 1, 2003

June 1, 2003 Severe Thunderstorms


A line of severe thunderstorms moved from eastern Colorado into western Kansas Sunday afternoon, producing street flooding, strong winds, hail and tornadoes. All of the tornadoes were weak, occurring over open county, and have been rated as F0. (The F-scale, or Fujita scale, ranks tornadoes based on the amount of damage produced. The scale ranges from F0, very weak, to F5, violent). Minor fence damage was reported east of Cheyenne Wells, CO, otherwise no reports of damage were received. Some of the tornadoes were visible for miles, and many reports were received from the public, law enforcement, and off-duty National Weather Service employees.

The first severe weather event was reported at 1:55 pm MDT, when the public called in a report of a tornado 2 miles east of Cheyenne Wells, CO. During the next 30 minutes, a total of 10 tornadoes occurred, eight in eastern Cheyenne County, Colorado, and three in Sherman County, Kansas. Most of the tornadoes formed along a weak surface boundary separating southerly winds from northwest winds. Strong thunderstorm updrafts forming above the boundary were able to interact with the wind shear present along the boundary to produce weak tornadoes. Tornadoes which form in this manner are called “landspouts”, because of the manner in which they develop, which is similar to waterspouts.

As the afternoon progressed, severe weather diminished, but intense rainfall resulted in street flooding in Burlington, CO and Goodland, KS. Here is a preliminary rundown of the severe weather reported Sunday afternoon, all times are Mountain Daylight Time:

  • 155 pm Tornado 2E Cheyenne Wells, CO

  • 159 pm Tornado 5 ENE Arapahoe, CO

  • 205 pm Tornado 4 SE Cheyenne Wells, CO

  • 205 pm Tornado 9 SW Cheyenne Wells, CO

  • 206 pm Tornado 6 SW Goodland, KS

  • 208 pm Tornado 6 S Ruleton, KS

  • 210 pm Tornado 6 S Ruleton, KS

  • 212 pm Tornado 4 ESE Arapahoe, CO

  • 215 pm Tornado 4 SE Arapahoe, CO

  • 224 pm Tornado 6 SE Cheyenne Wells, CO

  • 235 pm Street Flooding Goodland, KS

  • 237 pm Tree Damage Goodland, KS

  • 411 pm 1-inch Hail 11 SW Tribune, KS

  • 415 pm Tree Damage Burlington, CO

  • 415 pm Street Flooding Burlington, CO

Map Plot Depicting the Locations of Reported Tornado, Hail, Wind, and Flooding as a Result of this Storm.


Storm Total Precipitation Contour Map


Looking South, taken 5 miles west of

 Goodland Kansas by Denise Floyd

Taken from Cheyenne Wells Colorado looking Southeast by George Kemp

Looking East of Cheyenne Wells Colorado, taken by George Kemp

Tornado East of Arapahoe Colorado.  Photos taken around 2 P.M. MDT by Jeremy Martin.

Street Flooding, blown over tree at 10th & Broadway in Goodland Kansas.




Photos taken by Mick McGuire




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