Are we heading into Spring or Fall?? (9/20/2002)

By: Robb Lawson

On the evening of September 18th mother nature reminded us that severe weather can even occur as Fall approaches.

A spring-like weather pattern took shape across the central plains as the latter part of September neared. By the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 18th a powerful upper level trough was continuing to dig over the Great Basin. Note the stronger winds aloft over California and Nevada in Image 1, which indicates that this system is still strengthening. Image 2 shows this upper level trough 12 hours later as it begins to lift northeast.

At the surface, deep low pressure was centered over South Dakota with a strong cold front trailing from this low through central Nebraska and into northwest Kansas. At the same time a dry line bisected Kansas from North to South and into another low pressure center over Oklahoma. Image 3 is an analyzed surface map from 1 pm on Wednesday, September 18th. Along with the frontal positions note the presence of abundant Gulf moisture, with dewpoints in the mid 60s to near 70 degrees over Southeast and South Central Kansas.

The first storm fired along the dry line over South Central Kansas just west of Harper County. As this severe storm tracked east, it produced tennis ball sized hail near Harper. Image 4 is a radar image of this storm around the time it produced the large hail over Harper county. As this storm progressed east, other storms developed along the dry line. Along with producing large hail, severe damaging winds became a threat as these storms tracked east. Image 5 is a radar shot around the time 70 mph winds were reported a half mile west of Atlanta in Cowley county.

Throughout this event, 17 severe thunderstorm warnings were issued with numerous reports of large hail and severe winds across South Central and Southeast Kansas. Here is a list of the severe weather reports from September 18th:

TIME(CDT) .....CITY LOCATION.....STATE ...EVENT/REMARKS... ....COUNTY LOCATION....

0405 PM ATTICA KS 1.75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0406 PM 1 N ATTICA KS 1.75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

0411 PM 4 N ATTICA KS 1.75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0405 PM 6 W ATTICA KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY THE PUBLIC.

0430 PM HARPER KS 1.75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0442 PM HARPER KS 2.50 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY A TRAINED SPOTTER.

0455 PM 2 N CHENEY KS .75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 SEDGWICK REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0459 PM 1 W LAKE AFTON KS 70 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 SEDGWICK TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0505 PM 2 NE RUNNYMEDE KS 1.75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY THE PUBLIC.

0511 PM 6 E NEWTON KS .75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARVEY REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.

0512 PM CHAPPARAL KS .88 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 HARPER REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

0515 PM 3 W CONWAY SPRINGS KS 1.75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 SUMNER REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0523 PM WEST WICHITA KS 70 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 SEDGWICK REPORTED BY OFF DUTY NWS EMPLOYEE.

0540 PM 7 E PEABODY KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 MARION REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0600 PM MULVANE KS .88 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 SUMNER REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

0602 PM 1 W WELLINGTON KS 70 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 SUMNER TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0604 PM BELLE PLAINE KS 65 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 SUMNER TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0611 PM BELLE PLAINE KS .88 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 SUMNER REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0650 PM UDALL KS 65 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 COWLEY TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0653 PM 5 W ATLANTA KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0654 PM 2 N ATLANTA KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

0656 PM 1 W ATLANTA KS 70 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 COWLEY LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORTED

0701 PM 4 W LATHAM KS 60 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 BUTLER TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0702 PM 5 N ATLANTA KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 BUTLER REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0702 PM 4 N ATLANTA KS 70 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 BUTLER REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT.

0712 PM LATHAM KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 BUTLER REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

0817 PM ARKANSAS CITY KS .75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0818 PM 2 S BURDEN KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/19/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0841 PM 5 NW FREDONIA KS .75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 WILSON REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0845 PM FREDONIA KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 WILSON REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

0846 PM FREDONIA KS 60 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 WILSON TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0852 PM 15 E ARKANSAS CITY KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0855 PM 5 W CEDARVALE KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0915 PM 9 NE DEXTER KS .75 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 COWLEY REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0921 PM 1 W CHANUTE KS 70 MPH TSTM WIND GUST 09/18/02 NEOSHO TRAINED SPOTTER REPORTED

0920 PM CEDARVALE KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 CHAUTAUQUA REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER

0955 PM CHENEY KS 1.00 INCH HAIL 09/18/02 SEDGWICK REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.



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