National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


An explosive severe weather setup existed across the Central Plains on 17 May 2019 with this setup resulting in several tornadic storms from southwest Kansas into western Nebraska. While tornadic storms occurred earlier in the day over northwest Kansas into southwest Nebraska, storms did not develop farther south along a slow-moving dryline until early evening. Initial storm formation occurred from near Garden City to points southeast of Liberal over the Oklahoma Panhandle.

A storm developing in Beaver County Oklahoma became a supercell (rotating storm) quickly after formation with the first of several longer track tornadoes developing in the Oklahoma Panhandle and tracking into Meade County KS. This tornado dissipated a few miles north of the state line as it existed mostly over open country with an EF0 rating. This same storm subsequently created several more tornadoes as it moved northeast across Meade, Clark, Ford, Edwards, Pawnee, and Stafford counties. While the next tornado was a brief vortex a few miles northwest of Fowler, the second longer-track tornado occurred along a 26 mile path starting southeast of Fowler and ending west of Ford with an EF3 peak intensity. The third longer-track tornado occurred along a 15 mile path starting northeast of Ford and ending south-southwest of Kinsley with an EF2 peak intensity. The final longer-track tornado track occurred along a 11 mile path starting in Lewis and ending about 4 miles north of Belpre in Pawnee County with an EF2 peak intensity. There was one final brief tornado with no damage reported near the Stafford-Barton County line.

Image Courtesy Wesley Hovorka
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