Tornado Causes Damage Near Kalvesta (4/18/09)

Story by Jeff Hutton


Severe thunderstorms erupted Saturday afternoon on the 18th of April in Gray and Finney counties.  A "cold core" upper level storm combined with marginal surface moisture to allow for explosive growth of thunderstorms.  One storm in particular became a supercell thunderstorm (rotating storm) and produced several tornadoes.  One of the strongest tornadoes struck a farm southeast of Kalvesta in Finney county.    Damage was rated as EF2 intensity with wind speeds perhaps as strong as 115 mph.  The tornado was also the multiple vortex type with vortices striking the farm several times over a span of a minute ot two.  Storm spotter Ed O'Neal captured images of one of the tornadoes as seen below (click for larger version).

 Kalvesta Tornado

The image below is of some of the damage at the farm (photo by Larry Ruthi) - click for larger version

Damage at a farm

In addition to the tornadoes, hail piled as deep as 12 inches on Highway 156 near Kalvesta.  The Department of Transportation had to use three snow plows to clear the highway, but not before several cars ended in the ditch.

The track of the tornado

Track of the larger tornado 

The radar image of the thunderstorm producing the tornado.

Radar image of the tornado producing storm

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