Large Hail and a Brief Tornado Affects South Central Kansas on April 19th, 2003. (4/21/2003)

By: Brad Ketcham and Bruce Wightman

Numerous severe thunderstorms moved across a large portion of South Central Kansas with large hail and damaging winds.

A strong upper level storm system moved out of the Southwest U.S. across western Oklahoma Saturday afternoon. Ahead of this system, a stationary front was located across southern sections of Kansas with a developing surface low pressure area in the panhandle of Oklahoma. Running south from the low pressure area was a dryline. The dryline and the stationary front provided ample lift for thunderstorm development. As the upper level system moved across Kansas, widespread convection developed across Kansas and Oklahoma along the dryline and the associated frontal boundary, with numerous reports (see image 1) of large hail and damaging winds.

88d radar image during the severe weather showed, three different distinct severe weather producing signatures at 537 pm (see image 2). Point A showed a large bow echo that produced numerous reports of 70 - 80 mph winds. Point B showed a mini-supercell that was producing large hail up to the size of golfballs. Point C showed the supercell that produced the 15 mile long tornado track (rated F2) across northern Oklahoma. A brief tornado was later reported with storm C as it entered Montgomery Co. Kansas, southeast of Coffeyville.

Also, later that evening another severe thunderstorm rapidly developed over Labette County, KS. (see image 3). The thunderstorm produced softball sized hail 2 miles east of Altamont, and a tornado 5 miles north of Edna (see image 4 and image 5)

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