The following is a summary of significant weather events of 2008 which impacted south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. These events were reported to the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska by a variety of sources, including the general public, cooperative observers, local law enforcement, local media and other sources. Links to web stories with more information about some of the events are included. A summary of tornadoes reported for 2008 is included below.
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Tornadoes 2008 - Last year was a very busy year for tornadoes across south central Nebraska and north central Kansas with 35 total tornadoes reported. For comparison, only six tornadoes were reported across the area in 2007. The vast majority of tornado events in 2008 occurred on May 29 when several supercell thunderstorms spawned over twenty tornadoes across the area. On that day, an EF3 tornado devastated much of Jewell, Kansas, while a large supercell charted its course along Interstate 80 from Elm Creek to York in south central Nebraska.
2008 Tornado Summary for south central Nebraska and north central Kansas
|DATE||LOCATION||PATH LENGTH||PATH WIDTH (MAX)||RATING||INJURIES||DEATHS|
||1.6 miles east of the Stockton, KS Airport
||0.10 miles|| 25 yards
||3.5 miles south of Woodston, KS
||0.10 miles||10 yards||EF0||0||0|
|3.7 miles north of Beloit, KS airport to 2.1 miles north northeast of Scottsville, KS
||10.93 miles||1050 yards||EF2||0||0|
||6.8 miles south of Zurich, KS to 4.2 miles south of Zurich, KS
||2.39 miles||200 yards||EF1||0||0|
||2.1 miles east of Plainville, KS to 2.1 miles northeast of Codell, KS
||6.15 miles||1005 yards||EF1||0||0|
||3.5 miles southwest of Palco, KS to 3.1 miles southeast of Palco, KS||1.75 miles||200 yards||EF1||0||0|
|May 29||0.3 miles northwest of Woodston, KS to 0.3 miles northeast of Woodston, KS||0.38 miles||25 yards||EF1||0||0|
|May 29||2.4 miles southwest of Zurich, KS to 2.1 miles west of Zurich, KS||0.35 miles||10 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||3.1 miles east of Zurich, KS to 3.5 miles of Plainville, KS||0.60 miles||20 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||2.8 miles southwest of Conrinth, KS to 3.1 miles east of Corinth, KS||5.34 miles||200 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||5.9 miles north of Tipton, KS to 1.9 miles south of Glen Elder, KS||10.62 miles||400 yards||EF1||0||0|
|May 29||2.3 miles southwest of Glen Elder, KS to 5.6 miles northeast of Glen Elder, KS||7.90 miles||2000 yards||EF2||0||0|
|May 29||0.9 miles north of Solomon Rapids, KS to 6.7 miles north of the Beloit, KS Airport||7.05 miles||200 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||8.6 miles southwest of Jewell, KS to 2.4 miles northeast of Jewell, KS||11.01 miles||2000 yards||EF3||0||0|
|May 29||5.9 miles southwest of Randall, KS to 3.6 miles southwest of Randall, KS||2.79 miles||
|May 29||4.6 miles southeast of Formoso, KS to 4.8 miles southeast of Formoso, KS||2.33 miles||100 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||6.8 miles southwest of Elwood, NE to 1.4 miles northwest of Elwood, NE||6.11 miles||100 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||2.9 miles northeast of Smithfield, NE to 5.0 miles northeast of Smithfield, NE||2.18 miles||100 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||5.8 miles north of Bertrand, NE to 8.0 south of Odessa, NE||18.68 miles||400 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||12.6 miles north of Funk, NE to 13.7 miles northeast of Funk, NE||1.77 miles||100 yards||EF2||0||0|
|May 29||4.0 east of Odessa, NE to 1.0 miles southeast of Kearney Airport
||12.29 miles||100 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||4.1 miles west of Kearney, NE to 0.2 miles northwest of Shelton, NE||25.59 miles||100 yards||EF1||0||0|
|May 29||2.3 miles northwest of Kearney, NE to 1.8 miles northeast of Shelton, NE||21.75 miles||400 yards||EF2||0||0|
|May 29||6.5 miles west of Wood River, NE to 4.6 miles northeast of Wood River, NE||9.88 miles||100 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||1.3 miles northeast of Murphy, NE to 1.5 miles northwest of Aurora, NE
||3.61 miles||100 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||2.0 miles southwest of Aurora, NE to 0.4 miles northeast of Hampton, NE||7.60 miles||1000 yards||EF2||0||0|
|May 29||1.4 miles east of Thayer, NE to 4.6 miles northeast of Waco, NE||4.12 miles||25 yards||EF0||0||0|
|May 29||1.2 miles south of Hubbell, NE to 5.5 miles southeast of Gilead, NE||8.36 miles||150 yards||EF1||0||0|
|June 4||5.2 northeast of Dannevirke, NE to 5.2 miles west of Cotesfield, NE||3.61 miles||25 yards||EF0||0||0|
|June 4||Near Bertrand||0.10 miles||25 yards||EF0||0||0|
|June 4||0.9 miles southwest of Bloomington, KS||0.10 miles||50 yards||EF0||0||0|
|June 4||1.1 miles west of Smithfield, NE||0.10 miles||25 yards||EF0||0||0|
|June 7||2.8 miles south of Portis, KS||0.10 miles||50 yards||EF0||0||0|
|June 7||5.2 miles southeast of Harlan, KS||0.10 miles||50 yards||EF0||0||0|
|June 23||6.4 miles southwest of Cozad, NE to 3.3 miles southwest of Darr, NE||5.06 miles||75 yards||EF0||0||0|
The start of 2008 was relatively quiet weather-wise as only light snow amounts were reported in January. However, temperatures were still below normal, thanks to at least a few inches of snow on the ground. A bit heavier snow was measured across the region in early February.
The change of seasons meant wrapping up a colder than normal winter, before transitioning into a wet spring. Winter tried to hold on in early April with 1 to 5 inches of snow in parts of south central Nebraska, but a long-track, nighttime tornado near Beloit, KS toward the end of April turned thoughts toward severe weather rather abruptly.
"Wet-n-Wild" probably described May and June of 2008 the best. Clearly, the most significant event of the spring, and the year for that matter, was an outbreak of tornadoes on May 29. After a short break, severe weather returned again by the 4th and 5th of June. The stormy weather continued right through June and wrapped up with flooding problems for parts of the area.
The doldrums of summer were punctuated with several heavy rain events across the region. As each event occurred, reports of 2 to 6 inches of rain became more and more common. Severe weather was fairly limited, although there was no shortage of "baseballs" in Prairie View, Kansas on July 26th.
This period was dominated by a record breaking wet October. After a cool spring and summer, corn harvest was already behind schedule and that situation was exacerbated in October thanks to an average of 5 to 10 inches of rain. Of all the Cooperative Observer Stations in south central Nebraska and north central Kansas, roughly 90% reported a record monthly rainfall.
November was relatively calm in terms of significant weather events, but December made up for things with several events and a lengthy period of well below normal temperatures during the middle of the month.
|This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.|