Thursday, May 31, 2012

Severe thunderstorm warnings for most of the night 05/30/2012

Last night had been warned about for a couple of days.  There had been some discussion about a large scale Derecho forming and potential for high winds and hail.  Most of the early indicators showed storms forming over Dodge City having some brief tornadic possibilities, but as Mother Nature tends to do, storms fired north near Great Bend and quickly formed a line.

A small thunderstorm developed between the main line and over Sedgwick Co. which caused the first warning for small hail.  The storm seemed to fall apart in some areas while intensifying in others.
While this caused some chaos with the rush hour traffic (please remember, don't hide under a highway bridge during a severe thunderstorm, your car is not worth another's life), the bigger storm loomed to the east.

There was about an hour breather until the bigger storm came in.  Hutchinson had 70 mph winds, 2" hail, and several power poles snapped.  These storms were moving to the southeast driven by a cold front and powered by a dryline.  This main storm caused warnings to last for about 2 hours and caused estimated 60mph winds and hail downtown.

From from around 7pm.

As the storm moved towards Sedgwick Co.  I ran to one of my favorite spots NE of the city and watched this storm head in.  The winds seemed to be causing some rotation in the atmosphere (shelf clouds are caused by horizontal rotation parallel to the ground, but I did see one brief funnel take a 90 degree twist and dissipate.

From storm approaching Wichita at 7:45pm.
Some rotation seen North of Kechi.

The storm had a very pronounced shelf cloud to it.  As with most of these types of storms the winds started well in front of it.  We were lulled by a 40ish mph gust thinking that may have been the big one, until a 50mph gust hit.  Nothing like watching your sliding glass door start to bow in.

I have a cropped version of this as well, but like the original.

Brian T's Big Mitt Size Hail from near Main and Douglas

Rain approaching S. of Augusta.  Sent by Ruminator Brian T.

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