Severe Weather / Flood Event on June 4th, 2002

During the morning hours of June 4th 2002, a slow moving cold front was lined up across Northeast Kansas.  This front became the focal point for thunderstorm development as it pushed southeast across the area.  The main batch of precipitation was was working through central Kansas during the early morning hours. Thunderstorms fired out ahead of the main area shortly before 10 am and tracked northeast, generally  from northeast Lyon County through northern Jefferson County.   

Topeka's Billard Airport, in the center of the heavy rain band, received 3.06 inches for the entire event, with  2.66 inches falling between 9 and 11 am.  The rainfall amounts varied greatly across the city, anywhere from3 to 4 inches fell in the southeast part of the city, to as little as a half inch in western sections.  The 3.06" at Billard Airport was the most ever recorded on June 4th.  This intense rainfall that stretched into portions of  Jefferson County created a significant flash flooding event, especially in Topeka, where many low lying roadswere underwater.  Numerous reports of cars being abandoned and intersections being flooded were received.In addition to the heavy rainfall, strong straight-line winds affected an isolated area of southwest Topeka.   These winds brought down large trees and limbs, some of which caused power outages as they fell across power  lines.

Surface chart valid 7am June 4th, showing the cold front just north of Topeka

Surface Chart

Developing thunderstorms ahead of the main area of precipitation in central Kansas (845 am)

Reflectivity Image

Radar estimated precipitation---Dark purple (3.5-4.0 inches)  Yellow (4.0-5.0 inches)

Storm Total Precip Image

Severe Thunderstorm moving through Topeka (1043 am)

Reflectivity Image

Scenes from June 4th

Shunganunga Creek
Shunganunga Creek

Above: Pictures taken during the early afternoon hours on June 4th, showing the swollen Shunganunga Creek


Above:  Pictures of some of the street flooding still occurring after the heaviest rain had ended

Limb Down
Tree Damage

Above:  Pictures of some of the wind damage that occurred with the storm

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