Severe Thunderstorms With Damaging Winds Strike Southeast Kansas (7/11/2001)

By: Jim Caruso and Greg Noonan

Severe thunderstorms rip across Southeast Kansas the afternoon of June 14th, 2001.

Clusters of severe thunderstorms developed around 12:30 PM CDT over the Flint Hills of southeast Kansas and across north central Oklahoma. Some of the thunderstorms developed bow echo configurations, as they moved northeast at 30 to 40 mph into and across southeast Kansas between about 12:45 PM and 1:45 PM. (See radar image 1, image 2 and image 3.) The severe thunderstorms produced damaging wind gusts ranging from 60 to 80 MPH.

The first report of severe weather received at the National Weather Service in Wichita was 60 to 70 MPH wind gusts, 10 miles northeast of the town of Howard in Elk County. Five to six inch diameter tree limbs were knocked down by these winds.

The severe thunderstorms went on to pound Montgomery, Wilson, Woodson, and Allen Counties. Some of the more significant reports of damage came out of Woodson and Allen Counties. 80 MPH wind gusts were reported by law enforcement in Woodson County between 1:05 PM and 1:10 PM CDT. Windows were blown out of a home, and tree limbs, twelve inches in diameter, were knocked down three miles west of Yates Center in Woodson County. Power lines and power poles were reported down in the town of Yates Center.

The last report of damage was at 1:40 pm CDT in Allen County, with the storms then moving east out of the region. Fifteen inch tree limbs were knocked down in Allen County.

Image 4 is a GOES 8 Infrared satellite picture indicating very cold thunderstorm tops over southeastern Kansas at 12:45 pm CDT. Temperatures of minus 70 to minus 80 degrees Celsius were depicted, as the severe thunderstorms were developing. Image 5 is a GOES 8 Color-Enhanced Visible satellite picture, which indicated the tops of severe thunderstorms over Woodson and Allen Counties around 1:15 PM CDT. Tops of other strong thunderstorms can be seen over Montgomery and Labette Counties of southeast Kansas.

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