Final Statistics on the March 28, 2007, Tornado Outbreak across the Tri-State Area

Final Statistics Released

A major tornado outbreak occurred across portions of southwest Nebraska and extreme northwest Kansas on the evening of March 28, 2007. A cold front moved east and stalled along the Colorado-Kansas border during the evening hours. Warm, moist, and unstable air east of the front set the stage for explosive thunderstorm development. Atmospheric conditions that day led to thunderstorm rotation, which ultimately resulted in tornado formation. By the end of the day, a total of 16 tornadoes tracked across northwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska.  This is the highest number of tornadoes reported across northwest Kansas, southwest Nebraska, and eastern Colorado in any one day dating back to 1880. This event surpasses the October 31, 2000, Halloween tornado outbreak, which produced 10 tornadoes.

The National Weather Service sent storm assessment teams to investigate the damage. These teams, comprised of trained meteorologists, assigned Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale ratings based on the damage the tornadoes produced. The EF Scale ranges from 0 to 5, with 0 being minor damage and 5 being complete destruction. Further information on the Enhanced Fujita Scale may be found at:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/efscale.

The strongest tornado moved from northeast Sherman County into eastern Cheyenne County Kansas. This tornado had a path length of 36 miles and was up to a half mile wide at times. Four homes in the path of this tornado were significantly damaged with many of them losing roofs, garages, and sections of outside walls. Based on the damage, this tornado was rated EF2. This tornado dissipated near road AA, west of route 161 in northern Cheyenne County. A second tornado quickly formed about three miles to the northeast, tracked northward to just east of Benkelman, Nebraska, and damaged three homes and produced major tree damage at the golf course east of Benkelman. The same damage assessment team also investigated the damage from this tornado and rated the tornado EF1. In addition, five other tornadoes formed in eastern Sherman County that evening and were ultimately determined to be of EF0 intensity with little or no damage being reported. Two additional tornadoes also formed east of Bird City, one rated EF1 and another rated EF0. Earlier that evening, a tornado formed in central Greeley County in western Kansas and moved north into Wallace County. Three vacant mobile homes were badly damaged just north of the Wallace-Greeley border, resulting in an EF1 rating. Two other tornadoes occurred in Greeley County: one which tracked northeast from Towner, Colorado moving into extreme northwest Greeley County, and another which moved north out of Hamilton County, dissipating WSW of Tribune. Three other tornadoes occurred in Wallace County, one which produced minor tree damage in the eastern part of Sharon Springs. These tornadoes were rated EF0. Finally, a tornado developed in Decatur County southeast of the community of Jennings. This tornado destroyed three grain bins as it moved into the town. This tornado was rated EF0.

Here is a list of the tornadoes that occurred (all times MDT): 
 

Tornado
Number

Begin
Time

End
Time

Start Location

Path Length

EF-Scale
Rating

1

 549 pm

 550 pm

 2 SSE Sharon Springs

 0.5 miles

 0

2  552  607  Sharon Springs  6.0  0
3  605  620  6 SE Jennings  8.0  0
4  637  638  11 SSE Goodland  0.5  0
5  648  704  13 SSW Tribune  8.0  0
6  649  650  5 SE Goodland  0.5  0
7  706  711  2 N Edson  3.0  0
8  709  753  5 WSW Tribune  23.0  1
9  715  817  11 NE Goodland  36.0  2
10  749  756  4 E Bird City  4.0  1
11  809  836  6 SE Benkelman  15.0  1
12  829  834  4 E Edson  2.5  0
13  851  901  14 WNW Tribune  7.0  0
14  854  855  4 NE Edson  0.5  0
15   909  910  5 S Weskan  0.5  0
16  924  928  1 SE Bird City  2.0  0
 
The details of the tornadoes listed above are subject to change based on additional reports received. Anyone with information (damage reports or times of occurrence) regarding these tornadoes is encouraged to call the Goodland National Weather Service.

This event was one of the earliest tornado outbreaks in the region, more than doubling the number of tornadoes recorded in the month of March in the Goodland County Warning Area (CWA). Prior to this event, there were only 11 March tornadoes on record, occurring on eight different days. Three of these tornadoes occurred on March 28, 1993, which was previously the most active March tornado outbreak. In addition, there had never been a tornado rated EF2 or higher before April 12.

In addition to the tornadoes, numerous reports of large hail were received by the National Weather Service including a report of softball size hail (4.25 inches in diameter) by law enforcement in Benkelman, Nebraska.

The National Weather service issued a total of 24 tornado warnings, 20 severe thunderstorm warnings, and eight flash flood warnings. The average lead time for the tornado warnings was 15 minutes. There were no human fatalities or injuries from the severe weather. However, representatives from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks reported a herd of deer was killed in Sherman County, Kansas.

The following is a map showing the tornado tracks for March 28, 2007. 




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