Thunderstorms and Intense Winds March 23rd


     A powerful early spring storm tracked north across Nebraska toward South Dakota on Monday, March 23rd.   Ahead of the low pressure center, strong south to southeast gradient winds pounded central Nebraska and north central Kansas during the late morning and afternoon hours.  The damaging winds made travel difficult for vehicles of all sizes and helped spread grass fires in the Kearney and Minden Nebraska areas late Monday afternoon.   Thunderstorm-related wind gusts to 68 miles an hour were also reported at the York, Nebraska I-80 Interchange at 259 pm CDT.  

Location Peak Gust Time (CDT)
Campbell Highway 4 @Milepost 49.7 (NDOR) 68 mph 245 PM
Clay Center Highway 14 & 74 Intersection (NDOR) 68 mph 358 PM
Grand Island S. Channel of the Platte I-80 (NDOR) 61 mph 441 PM
Shelton I-80 (NDOR) 61 mph 604 PM
Hebron Airport (AWOS) 60 mph 610 PM
Rainwater Basin (8 mi Southwest of Harvard) 60 mph 156 PM
Smith Center Airport (AWOS) 60 mph 154 PM
Grand Island Regional Airport (ASOS) 60 mph 443 PM
Hastings Airport (ASOS) 59 mph 405 PM
Kearney Regional Airport (AWOS) 58 mph 315 PM
York Airport (AWOS) 56 mph 630 PM
Kirwin Dam (RAWS) 55 mph 356 PM
Holdrege Brewster Field (AWOS) 55 mph 130 PM
Elm Creek I-80 Interchange (NDOR) 52 mph 143 PM
Ord Evelyn Sharp Field (ASOS) 51 mph 223 PM
Arapahoe U.S. 283 @ Milepost 19.54 (NDOR) 50 mph 133 PM
Phillipsburg Airport (AWOS) 49 mph 159 PM
Lexington Jim Kelly Field (AWOS) 48 mph 250 PM


Thunderstorms developed after the noon hour and rapidly moved to the north.  The storms became severe and produced hail to the size of half dollars and damaging winds to 68 mph across south central Nebraska.  Tornadoes developed across portions of western, northern and eastern Nebraska.   The top image shows the locations of the storm reports, and bottom image is a radar loop from of the thunderstorm event.

T - Tornado      W - Wind      H - Hail
(click on image to enlarge)


The following visible satellite images depict the progression of the upper low pressure system from 315 pm CDT to 615 pm CDT:






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