Thunderstorms flare up across western Kansas, move slowly east

By Ken Stephens

The Hutchinson News

Several severe thunderstorms crept slowly across Kansas on Sunday afternoon and evening.

One reared up just south of Interstate 70 and east of Hays and by 5 p.m. it was pounding Barton County with heavy rain, hail and winds gusting up to 70 miles per hour.

Storm reports coming in to the National Weather Service indicated that visibility was down to a quarter-mile south of Hoisington and enough hail came down to turn the ground white three miles northwest of Galatia.

The Weather Service issued a flood warning at for Barton County, saying that Doppler radar indicated that up to 2.5 inches of rain had fallen across the area and that an additional one to two inches of rain was possible.

Along the northern edge of that storm, golf-ball to baseball size hail was reported five miles southeast of Victoria in Ellis County, and one-inch hail was reported at several sites in Russell County.

Another storm popped up over Gray, Ford, Hodgeman and Kiowa counties.

Hail one inch in diameter was reported at Dodge City and north of Bellefont in Hodgeman County. Dodge City reported 1.01 inches of rain in about two hours ending before 7 p.m. Garden City reported 0.78 inches of rain in two hours.

A co-op observer reported wind gusts up to 70 mph and 1.5-inch hail six miles south-southeast of Howell in Ford County.

Both those storms moved slowly to the southeast, and light rain began falling in downtown Hutchinson shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday, and by shortly before 9 p.m. a tenth of an inch had fallen. The Weather Service forecast for Monday in Hutchinson called for a 40 percent chance of rain at daybreak, diminishing to about 15 percent in the afternoon.

A third storm started in Clark and Meade counties and then dropped south into Oklahoma. Two-inch hail was reported at Englewood in Clark County and three-quarter inch hail 19 miles southeast of Meade in Meade County.

Around 6:30 p.m., another large storm, stretching from U.S. 50 in the south up to the Nebraska border, moved across the Colorado border into western Kansas.

That storm was delivering heavy rain and winds approaching 60 mph. At Tribune in Greeley County, the wind blew the roof off a barn and buckled 20x30-foot barn doors. Hail measured at 1.75 inches in diameter was reported at near Bird City in the far northwest corner of the state.

The wind caused a semi to roll over 23 miles south of Oakley on U.S. 83.

(c)2014 The Hutchinson News