Thursday, March 29, 2012
Severe storms dropped huge hail across northwest Lyon, northeast Greenwood and northern Osage counties Wednesday night. In addition, they also kept those residents in their storm shelters with persistent funnel clouds and other signs of low-level rotation, although no tornadoes have been confirmed so far.
The Madison area may have taken the worst hits, with hail from quarter to softball size and extremely heavy rain in four separate bouts of storm activity. Storm spotters reported vehicles with broken windshields in the town of Madison.
"I haven't seen hail that big ever, and for two hours we saw hail that big.. kind of unheard of," says James Inman.
Residents near Madison and Hilltop also had to take cover for over an hour as the parent supercell dropped multiple funnel clouds.
Inman says, "South of town, we saw a couple of funnel clouds.. just seemed to sit over the top of us. Hail started coming seemed to stop softball size...tennis ball sized. We were at a home southeast of town."
Separate storm clusters made for similar stories in northwest Lyon and northern Osage counties. Hail up to the size of tennis balls fell between Americus and Bushong, with at least one persistent funnel cloud in rural areas of Lyon County. Hail up to tennis ball-size also fell in an area around Burlingame, Carbondale and Scranton, with a large funnel cloud near Carbondale as well.
The storms formed along a slow-moving frontal boundary and edged eastward through the mid-evening hours, dumping isolated torrential rain underneath -- anywhere from two to four inches in under two hours. Water was reported over several roads in Lyon County, including K-99 about three miles south of Admire. Water also closed K-58 near Madison.
Inman says, "I was kind of excited...I took some courses at KU Meteorologist, so it was kind of exciting for me to see this first hand."