Early Spring Tornadoes Strike Russell County - (Including Video!!) (4/11/2005)

By: Robb Lawson

A powerful early spring storm system spawned numerous tornadoes over Russell County on Sunday April 10.

A strong and dynamic upper level low pressure system approached the plains on Sunday April 10th, and by the late afternoon hours was situated over Southeast Colorado. At the surface, a cold front extended from Eastern Nebraska to surface low pressure over Central Kansas. A dry line then extended South from this surface low into Northern Oklahoma. The tornado producing storms fired along the dryline in Central Kansas, close to where it intersected the cold front.

Image 1 is an image from Dodge City's radar at 6 pm. This was when the tornadic storm was just entering Russell County. Image 2 is a series of photographs showing the development of one of the tornadoes west of the town of Russell. Image 3 is another picture of the tornado west of the town of Russell. Image 5 and Image 6 are pictures of the tornado around 8 to 10 miles southwest of the town of Russell. See image 4 for a map of the tornado tracks across Russell county.

For video of the tornado in southwest Russell County, click here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ict/events/20050410/jdtor.mpg (13MB) - Courtesy J.D. Stewart.

Below is the preliminary damage assessment for Russell County:

...Tornadoes hit Russell County but damage was minimal...

A tornado damage assessment team from NOAA's National Weather Service office out of Wichita, Kansas went to Russell County to assess the strength of the tornadoes that touched down in that area yesterday. They found evidence that 5 separate tornadoes touched down. Specifics on each tornado are:

Tornado #1: The tornado moved into Russell County out of Ellis County about a mile and half north of the Russell/rush county line. The tornado moved northeast and was on the ground for approximately 7 miles, lifting about 7 miles southwest of Russell. Near 177th street and Lincoln road, which is about 10 1/2 miles southwest of Russell, minor damage occurred to a home. In addition, a garage was destroyed and several sheds were damaged. The strength of the tornado at that location was classified as an F1 on the Fujita scale. The remainder of the tornado track only caused some tree damage and was rated as an F0.

Tornado #2: This tornado touched down just briefly about 6 1/2 miles southwest of Russell. The touchdown was near the intersection of Grant Road and 180th Street. Only minor tree damage was observed, giving the tornado a rating of F0.

Tornado #3: Another brief touchdown about 5 1/4 miles southwest of Russell, or about a half mile southwest of exit 180 on i-70. It was rated F0 with only minor tree damage.

Tornado #4: This tornado touched down near Balta Station, or about 3 miles west of Russell. This tornado was on the ground for about a mile, lifting near the intersection of 183rd Street. and U.S. Highway 40. Only tree damage resulted giving a rating of F0.

Tornado #5: The final tornado touched down about 4 miles south southwest of Waldo, near the intersection of 187th Street and Amherst road. It was only on the ground for about 1 mile as it moved to the northeast. Once again only tree damage was observed giving it a rating of F0.

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

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