August Ends with Active Weather (9/1/2001)

By: Paul Howerton

Four rounds of severe weather hit central and south central Kansas.

During the last 10 days of the month, four severe weather events occurred. Severe weather is not at all unusual in late summer. However having two or three consecutive days of severe weather is much more common in late spring.

This "late season" round of severe weather started on the evening of August 22, when severe thunderstorms repeatedly developed over McPherson county. Four severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for McPherson county. Ten reports of severe weather were received, including two reports of one inch hail and 80 mph winds.

The severe weather ignited again on the 23rd. A weak front was located roughly along I-70. This provided the focus the first storms. A very strong storm produced tornadoes across Russell and Lincoln counties. It also produced up to golf ball sized hail and 80 to 90 mph winds. Other thunderstorms developed from Salina to Arkansas city. Numerous reports of dime to quarter sized hail and 60+ mph winds were reported across central and south central Kansas. The most noteworthy reports, included 80-90 mph winds in northern McPherson County around Lindsborg, and baseball sized hail in Andover. Significant wind damage was reported in and around Lindsborg.

On Friday the 24th, severe weather developed for the third consecutive day. Once again, this event started in central Kansas, as golf ball sized hail was reported in Rice county. The severe weather turned to high winds as it spread in south central Kansas, with numerous reports of 60 to 70+ mph winds across Reno, Sedgwick and Butler counties.

A brief reprieve then occurred as high pressure pushed into the area. However by August 30th, the atmosphere had become primed once again for severe weather. Again the thunderstorms started in central Kansas, with golf ball sized hail from a large thunderstorm in northern Russell County near Waldo. Storms continued to develop south during the evening, spreading 60 mph winds across parts of south central Kansas. However, the severe weather was more isolated that with previous events.

These 4 events were busy ones for the Wichita office. Here are some stats for these events:

  • Number of warnings issued: 41 (37 for severe thunderstorms and 4 for tornadoes)
  • Number of warnings that had severe weather occur while they were in effect: 36
  • Number of severe weather events: 94
  • Number of those events that were in Warnings: 82

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