By: Jim Caruso
Several severe thunderstorms erupted over south central Kansas and the Flint Hills Sunday evening, May 22nd into early Monday morning, May 23rd.
The storms were primarily large hail producers, with hail ranging in size from quarters (1.00 inch diameter) to baseball (2.75 inch diameter). The first large hail report, the size of quarters, was received around 1050 pm CDT, 3 miles southwest of Augusta in Butler County. By 1109 pm CDT, baseball size hail fell 1 mile west of Douglass. Image 1 shows a composite reflectivity image of the severe thunderstorms across the area at 1115 pm CDT (0415 UTC 23 May 2005). Image 2 shows an analyzed surface map at 10 pm CDT (0300 UTC 23 May 2005). A stationary front was draped across northern Oklahoma with a very unstable airmass along and south of this front. During the evening hours, southerly winds increased dramatically at about 4,500 feet above ground level. These southerly winds transported the very unstable airmass northward into south central Kansas and the Flint Hills, resulting in the rapid development of severe thunderstorms.The very large hail broke windows at a resident's home in Harvey County, and windows were reported broken in Moline in Elk County. One report of damaging winds of 80 mph was received in the town of Udall in Cowley County at 1:15 am CDT. During the early morning hours, the severe weather threat changed to heavy rainfall and flooding. The hardest hit counties for heavy rainfall and flooding were Butler, Cowley, Chautauqua, and Elk Counties. Weather observers reported 4.71 inches of rainfall in Atlanta and 4.06 inches of rainfall in Cambridge, both of which are in Cowley County. Image 3 shows doppler radar storm total rainfall estimates as of 5:14 am CDT Monday morning. The radar may have overestimated rainfall amounts by several inches due to hail contamination in the data. Below are the local storm reports received at the NWS Wichita Office from Sunday night into early Monday morning: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ict/nocif.php?Prod=events/lsr/lsr052305.txt
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WICHITA KS 338 AM CDT MON MAY 23 2005 ..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON... ..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.... ..REMARKS.. 1050 PM HAIL 3 SW AUGUSTA 37.66N 97.01W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1055 PM HAIL 3 S ROSE HILL 37.52N 97.13W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1055 PM HAIL 2 S LEON 37.66N 96.78W 05/22/2005 0.75 INCH BUTLER KS AMATEUR RADIO 1055 PM HAIL 3 SSW DOUGLASS 37.48N 97.03W 05/22/2005 1.75 INCH BUTLER KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1055 PM HAIL 1 S AUGUSTA 37.68N 96.98W 05/22/2005 1.75 INCH BUTLER KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1103 PM HAIL 5 SSE COYVILLE 37.61N 95.86W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH WILSON KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1109 PM HAIL 1 W DOUGLASS 37.52N 97.03W 05/22/2005 2.75 INCH BUTLER KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1112 PM HAIL 6 NE UDALL 37.45N 97.04W 05/22/2005 1.75 INCH COWLEY KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1114 PM HAIL 5 SW HOWARD 37.43N 96.33W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH ELK KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1115 PM HAIL 5 W HOWARD 37.47N 96.35W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH ELK KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1115 PM HAIL DOUGLASS 37.52N 97.01W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1118 PM HAIL 5 W HOWARD 37.47N 96.35W 05/22/2005 1.75 INCH ELK KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1118 PM HAIL 3 S ERIE 37.53N 95.24W 05/22/2005 0.88 INCH NEOSHO KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1130 PM HAIL EL DORADO 37.82N 96.86W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1131 PM HAIL EL DORADO 37.82N 96.86W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1134 PM HAIL 5 NNW THAYER 37.56N 95.51W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH NEOSHO KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1140 PM HAIL 3 E EL DORADO 37.82N 96.80W 05/22/2005 1.25 INCH BUTLER KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1140 PM HAIL MOLINE 37.36N 96.30W 05/22/2005 1.75 INCH ELK KS LAW ENFORCEMENT GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL BROKE OUT NUMEROUS WINDOWS IN MOLINE. 1142 PM HAIL 4 W HALSTEAD 38.00N 97.58W 05/22/2005 0.88 INCH HARVEY KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1142 PM HAIL 4 W HALSTEAD 38.00N 97.58W 05/22/2005 0.88 INCH HARVEY KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1146 PM HAIL ELK FALLS 37.37N 96.19W 05/22/2005 0.88 INCH ELK KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1150 PM HAIL CAMBRIDGE 37.32N 96.67W 05/22/2005 1.00 INCH COWLEY KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1202 AM HAIL E ATLANTA 37.44N 96.77W 05/23/2005 1.00 INCH COWLEY KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1204 AM HAIL 5 S HALSTEAD 37.93N 97.51W 05/23/2005 1.75 INCH HARVEY KS PUBLIC 1208 AM HAIL 1 S ATLANTA 37.42N 96.77W 05/23/2005 0.88 INCH COWLEY KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1220 AM HAIL VALLEY CENTER 37.84N 97.37W 05/23/2005 0.75 INCH SEDGWICK KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1220 AM HAIL 1 SW EL DORADO 37.81N 96.87W 05/23/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1220 AM HAIL VALLEY CENTER 37.84N 97.37W 05/23/2005 0.75 INCH SEDGWICK KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1236 AM HAIL 2 S HALSTEAD 37.97N 97.51W 05/23/2005 2.00 INCH HARVEY KS TRAINED SPOTTER BREAKING WINDOWS IN RESIDENTS HOME 1250 AM HAIL WICHITA 37.69N 97.34W 05/23/2005 1.00 INCH SEDGWICK KS LAW ENFORCEMENT QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN NORTHEAST WICHITA. 1258 AM HAIL ELGIN 37.00N 96.28W 05/23/2005 0.88 INCH CHAUTAUQUA KS LAW ENFORCEMENT 1258 AM HAIL ANDOVER 37.69N 97.14W 05/23/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS TRAINED SPOTTER 1259 AM HAIL N ANDOVER 37.69N 97.14W 05/23/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS TRAINED SPOTTER 0104 AM HAIL SE ELBING 38.05N 97.13W 05/23/2005 1.00 INCH BUTLER KS AMATEUR RADIO 0105 AM HAIL 2 N PARK CITY 37.82N 97.32W 05/23/2005 1.75 INCH SEDGWICK KS TRAINED SPOTTER GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED AT 77 NORTH AND HYDRAULIC BY KWCH SPOTTER. 0111 AM HAIL N PARK CITY 37.80N 97.32W 05/23/2005 1.50 INCH SEDGWICK KS TRAINED SPOTTER 0112 AM HAIL PARK CITY 37.80N 97.32W 05/23/2005 1.75 INCH SEDGWICK KS BROADCAST MEDIA 0115 AM TSTM WND GST UDALL 37.39N 97.12W 05/23/2005 80 MPH COWLEY KS TRAINED SPOTTER 0123 AM HAIL EAST WICHITA 37.68N 97.26W 05/23/2005 0.88 INCH SEDGWICK KS BROADCAST MEDIA REPORTED BY KSN TV 0130 AM FLOOD CHAUTAUQUA 37.02N 96.18W 05/23/2005 CHAUTAUQUA KS LAW ENFORCEMENT NUMEROUS LOW WATER CROSSINGS UNDER WATER COUNTY WIDE.