By: Robb Lawson, Chris Jakub
Extreme severe thunderstorms brought tornadoes, hail up to the size of grape fruit, and winds in excess of 80 mph across Central and Southern Kansas on Sunday July 3rd.
Warm and humid conditions ahead of an approaching cold front set the stage for mother natures fireworks Sunday afternoon and night, as the first episode of severe weather materialized early in the afternoon over Central Kansas. A supercell thunderstorm developed and entered Barton county from the west before 2pm. The supercell produced a suite of severe weather in Barton county before tracking east across Rice and McPherson counties. Damaging winds of 60-70 mph, hail up to the size of grape fruit at one point in time over McPherson county, and funnel clouds accompanied this lone thunderstorm.Meanwhile, another very large and destructive supercell thunderstorm developed over western Reno county around 430pm and marched slowly southeast into western Sedgwick county. Image 3 and Image 4 are pictures of this storm near Cheney Lake. The supercell generated a powerful low level mesocyclone seen in Image 1 over southeastern Reno county. Reports of tornadoes, large destructive hail, and winds in excess of 80 mph accompanied the storm as it swept across the area. Six injuries and extensive damage were reported in and around the Cheney Lake area around 630 pm as this supercell thunderstorm moved over the lake. Image 2 is a picture of some of the damaged that occurred in that area. Image 5 is a photograph of this same powerful storm as it approached West Wichita. In addition, these storms produced torrential rains which brought flooding to many areas. This resulted in a few water rescues being required across the area. Thunderstorms continued to pound southern Kansas well after dark with numerous reports of large hail and 60-80 mph winds occurring over Harper, Sumner, and Cowley counties.