Line of Severe Storms Sweep Across Central and Eastern Kansas (6/22/2011)

By: NWS Wichita

June 20th 2011: Line of Severe Storms


An unseasonably strong upper level disturbance and associated strong cold front interacted with a moist and unstable air mass in place across eastern Kansas to erupt a line of strong to severe thunderstorms (referred to as a squall line), generally along and east of the I-135 corridor during the afternoon and evening hours on the 20th.  The thunderstorms first developed near Salina around 3:30 pm CDT producing quarter size hail near Brookville in Saline County.  Thereafter, thunderstorms rapidly developed south through the rest of central and south central Kansas along the eastward advancing cold front.  By early evening, the intense squall line stretched from Marion County, south through the Wichita metro, and into Sumner County.  The squall line continued to march east into southeast Kansas through the evening hours, before exiting far southeast Kansas around midnight.

Severe weather reports in the form of large hail and downburst winds were rather numerous, especially along and west of the Flint Hills.  Hail stone diameters ranged from dime size to as large as golf balls with thunderstorm-induced wind speeds exceeding 70 mph at times.  The strong winds produced sporadic areas of damage including: an overturned semi east of Maize, roof damage near Valley Center, a metal shed damaged near Park City, and power poles downed near Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.  Given the magnitude of wind speeds reported, there are likely several other areas of damage to trees, power lines, fences, etc. across the area that are unknown at this time.   

Radar loop starting around 5 pm on June 20th and ending around midnight.

Visible satellite loop showing the line of severe storms rapidly develop a few hours prior to sunset.


 Storm Pictures

Storms first starting to develop over West Wichita. Picture by Janet Salazar-Spurgeon

Well defined shelf cloud over Cowley County. Picture taken by Pascal Van Schijndel

Mammatus clouds on the backside of the line of storms. Picture taken by Andrew Gagnon.

 


 Damage Pictures

  


Overturned semi at Ridge and K-96. Picture provided by Sedgwick County Emergency Management

Damage to a metal farm shed around 3 miles east of Maize. Picture provided by Sedgwick County Emergency Management

Damage to an unoccupied mobile home southwest of Valley Center. Picture provided by Sedgwick County Emergency Management


Roof damage southwest of Valley Center. Picture provided by Sedgwick County Emergency Management

Metal roof ripped off and thrown into a tree near Valley Center. Picture provided by Sedgwick County Emergency Management

Microburst radar images  

Radar base velocity, showing the microburst (yellow circled area) as it developed over Sedgwick County, Kansas.   The left image at 543pm shows the 57 mph winds as they cross K-96 near Ridge Road (semi tractor trailer blown over).   The middle image at 547pm shows the velocities increasing to 85 mph near 53rd Street and Hoover.  The right image shows the 56 to 70 mph winds spread out (larger yellow circle) as they hit the southeast corner of Valley Center, Kansas.   This velocity signature is a great example of an expanding downburst as shown by radar.

Reports

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



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