Friday, July 01, 2005

tornadoes in Kansas - too close for comfort

From the Wichita National Weather Service Press: "Tornadoes Hit Neosho County (4/22/2005)

By: Brad Ketcham

Strong Tornadoes cause damage in southern Neosho County

A strong upper level low pressure system moved east across Nebraska on Thursday. Meanwhile, a surface low pressure was centered over northeast Kansas and deepened during the afternoon. As the surface low deepened, a dryline surged east across the state and reached southeast Kansas by late afternoon. Thunderstorms developed rapidly around 5pm over Neosho and Labette counties, as the dryline pushed into a very unstable airmass sitting over the area. The thunderstorms transitioned into the classic Supercell type storms shortly thereafter, producing large hail and the rare weather phenomenon (tornadoes). See Image 1 and Image 2 for reflectivity and velocity data from the KINX radar site in Tulsa, OK.

Image 3 is an picture of the overshooting top from the supercell in Neosho county. This usually indicates very intense updraft strength with-in thunderstorms.

A tornado damage assessment team from NOAA's National Weather Service office out of Wichita, Kansas went to Neosho County to assess the strength of the tornadoes that touched down in that area. They found evidence of 2 separate tornadoes touching down. Specifics on each tornado are listed below: See Image 4 for Tornado tracks in Neosho county.

Tornado #1: The tornado first touched down just a few miles south of Galesburg or just north of Parson's Lake in Neosho county, and remained on the ground for 5 miles. See Image 5. The tornado gained strength as it moved east and severely damaged a house. The tornado was rated F3(158-206mph) on the Fujita scale ( Image 6)( Image 7). The tornado lifted about a mile west of highway 59.

Tornado #2: The supercell continued to move east and spwaned a second tornado about 4 miles south of St. Paul in Neosho county. The tornado remained on the ground for about 7 miles as it tracked northeast. A barn was destroyed along with some tree damage. The tornado reached F1(73- 112mph) status on the Fujita scale.

Tornado #3: A weak F0(less than 73mph) tornado touched down 8 miles east of Parsons in northeast Labette county at U.S. Highway 400 and York Rd. No damaged occured with this brief touch down.

More images of damage from the tornadoes.

Image 8

Image 9

Image 10

Image 11

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita KS"

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