Wichita and South Central Kansas awoken by 70 to 80 mph winds!! (8/12/2003)

By: Brad Ketcham and Robb Lawson

Two thunderstorms produced wet microbursts and straight-line wind damage across South Central Kansas. Two of the hardest hit areas were Wichita and El Dorado. The storms hit during the early morning hours of August 11th, 2003.

A pair of Severe thunderstorms, producing wet microbursts and straight line wind damage, moved south across South Central Kansas early on August 11th, 2003. The storms were part of a group storms that started in southwest Iowa and progressed southwest into the area.

Storm A (Image 1) become severe in Marion County, Kansas near Lincolnville at 209 am with 1 inch hail. The thunderstorm continued to moved south into northern Sedgwick County and rapidly intensified as it moved into Valley Center at 318 am, (Image 2). NWS Doppler velocities showed wind speeds of 64 knots (Image 3). Thousands of residents were without power in Valley Center early on August 11th, due to power poles snapped by the 70 to 80 mph winds. The NWS office in Wichita officially clocked the wind speed at 74 mph at 339 am with numerous power outages in the city of Wichita.

Storm B (Image 4) moved across Cassoday along the Kansas Turnpike, into Butler County at 207 am, with NWS doppler velocities showing wind speeds of greater than 64 knots (Image 5). The hardest hit area was El Dorado Lake where winds were estimated at 70-80 mph. Two minor injuries were reported at the campgrounds along with wind damage to the marina docks. The thunderstorm continued to produce straight line wind damage (Image 6) as it tracked across Cowley County (Image 7).

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

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