Severe Weather Information: April 14th, 2011

Strong Storms Roll Through Northeast Kansas April 14, 2011 

On the afternoon of April 14, 2011 strong thunderstorms formed along a dryline associated with a strong storm system which moved through the plains. Although the storms were low-topped in nature and did not produce much hail, they did produce some damaging winds and a few funnel clouds.

The Science of "Why":  A Few Degrees Makes All The Difference

This was a strong storm system, with plenty of wind shear, and many of the ingredients required for tornadoes.  Thunderstorms were able to develop as there wasn't much of a cap on the atmosphere.  So how did the area manage to avoid the development of several tornadoes?

With this storm system, it appears that it was a matter of a few degrees.  When looking at data from the evening weather balloons, it appears that if dewpoint temperatures would have been a few degrees higher, the tornado potential would have increased sharply.  An increase in dewpoints (a measure of moisture content in the air), would have markedly increased instability available to the storms, and caused cloud bases to be closer to the ground.  Both of these would be factors in increased tornado potential.  For example, while dewpoint temperatures at Emporia got as high as the middle 50s, the dewpoint in far southern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma (where several tornadoes did develop) was into the 60s.

Of course, numerous ingredients are required in tornado development.  Similarly to baking a cake, if you mix all of the ingredients together, but forget the baking powder (or even add too little baking powder), the cake will not turn out as planned.  And while many ingredients for tornado development may be present, it may only take one missing ingredient (or too little of one) to cause storms to not turn out as expected.  And THAT...is the science of "Why" for April 14, 2011.

 

Click the image below for the latest Storm Reports From Thursday

LSR Map from April 14, 2011

 

Preliminary Local Storm Reports (link above will have the most recent reports)

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0154 PM HAIL 5 SSW CONCORDIA 39.50N 97.70W
04/14/2011 E0.88 INCH CLOUD KS LAW ENFORCEMENT

0215 PM HAIL NORWAY 39.70N 97.77W
04/14/2011 E0.75 INCH REPUBLIC KS CO-OP OBSERVER

BRIEF PERIOD OF DIME TO PENNY SIZE HAIL

0500 PM TSTM WND DMG 2 S TESCOTT 38.98N 97.88W
04/14/2011 OTTAWA KS PUBLIC

NEAR THE OTTAWA/SALINE COUNTY LINE ON BROOKVILLE ROAD.
ROOF BLOWN OFF OF HOUSE. SHED NOT TIED DOWN TO FOUNDATION
COMPLETELY BLOWN DOWN AND MOTORCYLE THROWN APPROX 30
YARDS AWAY FROM HOUSE.

0522 PM HAIL 9 S ABILENE 38.78N 97.20W
04/14/2011 E1.00 INCH DICKINSON KS TRAINED SPOTTER

0527 PM HAIL 9 S ABILENE 38.78N 97.20W
04/14/2011 E1.00 INCH DICKINSON KS TRAINED SPOTTER

PEA TO QUARTER SIZED HAIL.

0533 PM HAIL ABILENE 38.92N 97.21W
04/14/2011 E1.00 INCH DICKINSON KS STORM CHASER

QUARTER SIZED HAIL IN ABILENE

0540 PM HAIL 3 WSW ABILENE 38.90N 97.26W
04/14/2011 E1.00 INCH DICKINSON KS TRAINED SPOTTER

0544 PM FUNNEL CLOUD 5 N ABILENE 38.99N 97.21W
04/14/2011 DICKINSON KS STORM CHASER

SPOTTER REPORTED FUNNEL CLOUD NORTH OF ABILENE

0558 PM TSTM WND GST 10 S JUNCTION CITY 38.88N 96.83W
04/14/2011 E70.00 MPH GEARY KS TRAINED SPOTTER

SPOTTER ESTIMATED WINDS OF 60-70 MPH WITH PEA SIZED HAIL

0615 PM HAIL 2 S COUNCIL GROVE 38.63N 96.49W
04/14/2011 E1.00 INCH MORRIS KS EMERGENCY MNGR

COVERING THE GROUND ALONG HIGHWAY 177.

0616 PM HAIL 1 E COUNCIL GROVE 38.66N 96.48W
04/14/2011 E0.88 INCH MORRIS KS TRAINED SPOTTER

0619 PM TSTM WND GST 1 S ALTA VISTA 38.85N 96.49W
04/14/2011 M65.00 MPH WABAUNSEE KS TRAINED SPOTTER

ALSO PEA SIZE HAIL

0623 PM HAIL 5 S PALMER 39.57N 97.14W
04/14/2011 E0.75 INCH WASHINGTON KS TRAINED SPOTTER

HAIL SIZE RANGED FROM DIME TO PENNY SIZE AND COVERED THE
GROUND

0624 PM HAIL 7 NE COUNCIL GROVE 38.74N 96.41W
04/14/2011 E0.75 INCH MORRIS KS TRAINED SPOTTER

0648 PM HAIL SSE BARNES 39.71N 96.87W
04/14/2011 E0.88 INCH WASHINGTON KS TRAINED SPOTTER

0720 PM TSTM WND GST 3 S ROSSVILLE 39.09N 95.94W
04/14/2011 E50.00 MPH WABAUNSEE KS TRAINED SPOTTER


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