Severe thunderstorms and flooding strike central Kansas September 17th. (9/18/2001)

By: Pete Wolf, Jim Caruso

An approaching upper level storm system brought scattered severe thunderstorms with hail, high winds, and excessive rainfall to portions of central and southern Kansas Monday.

A severe thunderstorm brought one to two inch diameter hail and damaging winds to Rice, Mcpherson, Reno and Harvey counties. Winds up to 75 mph were reported west of Newton. A second severe thunderstorm developed over Butler County, producing winds up to 65 mph 8 miles southwest of Cassoday. Later in the evening, a line of thunderstorms brought 60 mph winds to Barton County. Several tornado warnings were issued as a result of rotation detected on radar, but only a few funnel clouds were reported. Image 1 shows one such supercell storm in Rice County that prompted the issuance of a tornado warning.

In addition to the severe weather, the thunderstorms dumped excessive rainfall. Two to five inches of rain produced considerable street flooding over central and southcentral Kansas. Twenty-four hour rainfalls were as high as 7.2 inches at Hesston. Image 2 and Image 3 show radar- derived rainfall estimates for the 24 hour period ending at 7 am cdt, September 18th.

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