First Widespread Severe Weather Outbreak of the Year!! (4/24/2004)

By: Robb Lawson

The first major severe weather outbreak of the year brought wind damage, large hail and flooding to South Central and Southeast Kansas.

Friday April 23 was an extremely busy day in the weather department across South Central and Southeast Kansas. The National Weather Service in Wichita issued over 50 severe thunderstorm and flood warnings on April 23rd and received over 100 reports of severe wind, large hail and flooding.

For a map showing severe weather reports across the country on April 23rd, click here: Image 5.

This event started early as an intense thunderstorm dropped large quantities of golf ball size hail over Sumner county around 830 am. Image 1 is a radar display showing this severe storm at the time it was covering the ground with golf ball size hail near Wellington.

In the wake of this first storm, more severe storms fired over south Central Kansas. This time the storms packed winds in excess of 60 mph. These strong winds caused significant damage over Harper county as three people were injured when the Historic Fairground Barn collapsed around 1050 am. Image 2 shows this line of severe thunderstorms(sometimes called a bow echo) as they tracked across Harper county.

And last but not least, yet another round of storms developed later in the afternoon. This round of storms mainly affected southeast portions of Kansas. Image 3 is a radar display of the severe storms which brought severe winds and large hail to numerous counties across southeast Kansas.

With the prolonged period of showers and storms, flooding then became a threat as there were numerous flood watches and warning issued. The majority of the flooding reports received were over southeast Kansas, where some locations picked up over three inches of rain. Image 4 shows the rainfall reports received from Friday April 23rd.

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.