By: Brad Ketcham and Chance Hayes
Seven tornadoes skipped across Sumner, Cowley, and Elk counties producing scattered damage up to F3 intensity near Mulvane, Kansas.
Another round of tornado producing supercells moved across areas just south of Wichita on June 12th, 2004. Five confirmed tornadoes skipped along the Sumner/Sedgwick and Butler/Cowley county lines during the early evening hours.The supercell thunderstorms formed along a dry line in Southern Kansas in Harper County, Kansas. Radar signature shows the dry line and initial thunderstorm development (Image 1). The storms rapidly intensified once they moved into northeastern sections of Sumner County, with the first touchdown reported at aproximately 710 pm just southwest of Mulvane. (See Image 2 for a map of the tornado tracks and F scale ratings). The supercell thunderstorm continued to cycle (or strengthen and weaken, as it moved slowly east, producing and dissipating tornadoes as it went. At approximately, 725 pm the supercell (88d radar Image 3) produced a longer track tornado (Image 4) that produced damage at the Mulvane Saddle Club (Image 5 and Image 6) as it crossed Kansas Highway 15 near Greenwich Road. The Damage at this location was rated F1 and F2 respectively. The tornado continued eastward causing very little damage in it's path, until it began to drift southeast. At this time the tornado produced significant damage as the white rope tornado leveled a frame house (Image 7 and Image 8) in which 2 occupants survived by taking shelter under the basement stairs. The tornado was rated as a strong F3. Image 9 shows, what's left of a 1969 Mach I Mustang that was parked in the garage of the residence and thrown 1/4 mile away. Three other tornadoes in Cowley county produced little damage, however, the tornado near Rock was quite picturesque with the sun setting off on the western horizon. (Image 10) The other two tornadoes were just south of Atlanta and were rated an F0. As the supercell continued on into Elk County, it produced two very weak rope tornadoes that only caused damage to a corn crop.