National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Dangerous Heat Continues in the West; Multiple Areas of Excessive Rainfall Possible Today

Dangerous heat continues across the West with widespread Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories. The West should see relief from hazardous heat by Friday. The heat will expand into the northern Plains on Tuesday. Heavy to excessive rainfall today in the Mid-Atlantic to Carolinas, southern Rockies, and west Texas into the ArkLaTex may lead to areas of flash, urban, and stream flooding. Read More >

A warm front sitting across south central Nebraska served as the focus for tornadic thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon and evening. Warm and moist air was drawn north into the region Saturday which led to very unstable conditions by late afternoon. As an upper level disturbance moved out of eastern Colorado, it helped provide a trigger to break the cap and allow thunderstorms to develop. Another factor was the dryline which started to push east along the warm front by 4 PM CDT. The first supercell thunderstorms developed near the intersection of the warm front and the dryline between 3 and 4 PM.

At 5:28 PM CDT, the first tornadic thunderstorm of the day was reported in southern Furnas county, 3 miles south of Beaver City. By 5:32 PM, storm spotters reported that it was a large tornado just to the east of Beaver City. Initial damage survey of the area found that the tornado tracked from 3 to 4 miles southwest of Hendley, to near Beaver City, to near Stamford. A farm was damaged 2 miles north of Precept, and several trees were completely denuded of barks and limbs.

The thunderstorm weakened as it moved further to the northeast, but large hail up to tennis ball size continued to fall across Furnas county. As the thunderstorm continued towards Harlan county, it became tornadic once again. At 6:04 PM CDT, a tornado was reported 5 miles northwest of Alma. Near Stamford, softball size hail caused extensive tree damage. The thunderstorm continued to move to the east northeast through Harlan and into Franklin county. In Franklin county, the thunderstorm generated a funnel cloud 4 miles north of the city of Franklin.

As the storm tracked to the northeast through northern Webster county and into southern Adams county, several tornadoes touched down. The tornadoes caused some damage in Blue Hill in Webster county, then in Pauline in southern Adams county. Initial damage surveys estimates there were 3 seperate touchdowns. The first touchdown was about 3 miles northwest of Bladen. The second tornado was 2 miles south of Pauline, where Showboat road turns to the east, and it tracked northeast into Clay county near Spring Ranch. The third tornado was 2 miles southwest of Pauline, and it tracked just north of Pauline where it damaged trees and outbuildings. All three of these tornadoes have been initially rated as F1s.

Meanwhile in Thayer county, a supercell thunderstorm quickly developed on the intersection of the warm front and an old outflow boundary from the previous nights convection. At 6:52 PM CDT, a tornado was reported 3 miles northwest of Hebron. The thunderstorm tracked to the northeast, and there were reports of tornadoes near Bruning between 7:12 PM CDT and 7:28 PM CDT. As the tornadic thunderstorm moved through the county; it also produced large hail up to the size of a baseball. This tornadic thunderstorm eventually moved east of our area into Jefferson and Saline counties.

The original long lived supercell thunderstorm moved out of Adams county into Clay county where it spawned another tornado. The tornado caused extensive damage in Clay county. It was reported to be 4 miles northwest of Fairfield at 7:42 PM CDT. The tornado caused a freight train to derail near Fairfield. The tornado continued to the east and moved just south of Clay Center. Damage was reported to homes and farms to the south and east of Clay Center. At the USDA Animal Research Center near Clay Center, numerous large trees and power poles were downed, a calving barn was destroyed, and a well house was destroyed.

The tornado lifted somewhere east of Clay Center, but the supercell thunderstorm continued into Fillmore county. The thunderstorm produced large hail up to golf ball size 9 miles north of Carleton.

The next supercell thunderstorm to develop began its life in northeastern Jewell county in Kansas. The storm quickly developed rotation and moved northeast into Republic county then into Thayer county Nebraska. Storm spotters reported a tornado near Byron at 8:54 PM CDT.The tornado move towards the northeast and was reported near 5 miles north of Byron at 9:07 PM CDT. Another tornado was reported 2 miles west of Alexandria at 9:27 PM CDT. Several reports of damaged or missing outbuildings were received from just north of Alexandria. A storm chaser near the Fillmore-Thayer county line reported seeing cows flying through the air. A report has been received from a farm 4 miles north of Alexandria that their herd of 20 to 25 head of cattle was missing on the morning of May 23rd. The storm chaser also reported hail of 4 to 6 inches in diameter falling out of the thunderstorm.

 

Click Images for a larger view
05:33 pm CDT Furnas County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 05:33 pm CDT Furnas County 0.5 Degree SRM
0.5 degree reflectivity scan completed at 5:33 pm CDT zoomed in on Furnas county. Note the hook echo evident in the higher reflectivity values. It is not always present and not all storms that have one will go on to produce a tornado. However, this is a strong indication that a supercell thunderstorm is capable of producing a tornado, and prior to the velocity data that Doppler radar provides, it was often the only radar basis for tornado warnings. 5:33 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The cool colors (greens & blues) are targets moving toward the radar, which is located to the southeast. The warm colors (browns and reds) are targets moving away from the radar. When these colors appear adjacent to each other, it is termed gate to gate shear or a velocity couplet.
05:49 pm CDT Furnas County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 05:49 pm CDT Furnas County 0.5 Degree SRM
0.5 degree reflectivity scan completed at 5:49 pm CDT, a tornado enters Harlan county and approaches Stamford. The tornado lifted before it reached Stamford. 0.5 degree SRM scan completed at 5:49 pm CDT, Note that the velocity data indicates two strong circulations. The circulation near the Furnas-Harlan county line had a tornado on the ground as it approached Stamford. The second circulation to the southeast of Stamford eventually spawned a second tornado which moved just south of Orleans.
06:41 pm CDT Webster Adams Counties 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 06:41 pm CDT Webster Adams Counties 0.5 Degree SRM
6:41 pm CDT 0.5 degree reflectivity scan zoomed in on Adams and Webster counties. Note again the obvious presence of a hook echo in the higher reflectivities in the extreme northesat corner of Franklin County. 6:41 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The velocity couplet here depicts greater than 140kts of gate to gate shear, which is the sum of the magnitude of the inbound and outbound velocities.
07:03 pm CDT Adams County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 07:03 pm CDT Adams County 0.5 Degree SRM
7:03 pm CDT 0.5 degree reflectivity scan zoomed in on Adams and Webster counties. The radar reflectivity shows a slight hook in the higher reflectivities extending towards the radar. The reflectivity signature is much more difficult to see because the storm is extremely close to the radar, and it moved through an area known as the cone of silence where the radar can not see the storm. 7:03 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The velocity pattern shows that the storm is wrapped up on itself. The inbound and outbound velocities are seen in a spiral pattern.
07:29 pm CDT Adams County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 07:29 pm CDT Adams County 0.5 Degree SRM
7:29 pm CDT 0.5 degree reflectivity scan zoomed in on Adams and Clay counties. The tornadic thunderstorm has emerged from the cone of silence. The hook echo is no longer readily apparent, but the storm inflow notch is apparent by the lower reflectivities just south of Glenvil. 7:29 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The velocity pattern shows a circulation to the west northwest of Fairfield approximately 13 minutes before it touches down in Clay county.
07:40 pm CDT Clay County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 07:40 pm CDT Clay County 0.5 Degree SRM
7:40 pm CDT 0.5 degree reflectivity scan zoomed in on Clay county. The tornado is located north of Fairfield just to the southwest of Clay Center. 7:40 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The velocity product indicates a very strong circulation to the southwest of Clay Center. The velocity shows shear of over 170 kts with 81 kts of inbound wind and 91 kts of outbound wind.
06:57 pm CDT Thayer County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 06:57 pm CDT Thayer County 0.5 Degree SRM
6:57 pm CDT 0.5 degree reflectivity scan zoomed in on Thayer county. Hook echo can be seen just to the west of Belvidere. The storm was moving to the east. 6:57 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The velocity product shows the rotation in the tornadic thunderstorm. The radar algorithms recognized a Tornado Vortex Signature (TVS) which was displayed as a red triangle.
07:14 pm CDT Thayer County 0.5 Degree Reflectivity 07:14 pm CDT Thayer County 0.5 Degree SRM
7:14 pm CDT 0.5 degree reflectivity scan zoomed in on Thayer county. Hook echo remained very evident as the storm moved to the east. A tornado was reported with the storm until it exited the county. 7:14 pm CDT 0.5 degree SRM (velocity) scan. The velocity product continued to show the tornadic rotation in the thunderstorm.

 

Damage Photos From May 22, 2004

 

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE
1125 AM CDT SUN MAY 23 2004

..TIME...   ...EVENT...     ...CITY LOCATION...      ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....     ..COUNTY LOCATION...ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..


0510 PM     HAIL             WILSONVILLE             40.11N 100.11W
05/22/2004  1.25 INCH        FURNAS             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0520 PM     HAIL             6 SE WILSONVILLE        40.05N 100.03W
05/22/2004  1.75 INCH        FURNAS             NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0523 PM     TSTM WND GST     3 NW GOTHENBURG         40.96N 100.20W
05/22/2004  52 MPH           DAWSON             NE   PUBLIC

0532 PM     TORNADO          BEAVER CITY             40.14N 99.83W
05/22/2004                   FURNAS             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

LARGE TORNADO JUST EAST OF BEAVER CITY

0536 PM     HAIL             BEAVER CITY             40.14N 99.83W
05/22/2004  0.75 INCH        FURNAS             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0556 PM     HAIL             1 E OXFORD              40.25N 99.61W
05/22/2004  1.00 INCH        HARLAN             NE   PUBLIC

0604 PM     TORNADO          5 WNW ALMA              40.13N 99.45W
05/22/2004                   HARLAN             NE   STORM CHASER

0611 PM     TORNADO          2 E ALMA                40.10N 99.32W
05/22/2004                   HARLAN             NE   STORM CHASER

0621 PM     HAIL             2 N REPUBLICAN CITY     40.13N 99.22W
05/22/2004  2.00 INCH        HARLAN             NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0621 PM     HAIL             FUNK                    40.46N 99.25W
05/22/2004  1.00 INCH        PHELPS             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

50 MPH WIND GUSTS

0623 PM     HAIL             RAGAN                   40.31N 99.29W
05/22/2004  2.50 INCH        HARLAN             NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0630 PM     HAIL             2 NW REPUBLICAN CITY    40.12N 99.25W
05/22/2004  2.75 INCH        HARLAN             NE   PUBLIC

0633 PM     HAIL             7 S WILCOX              40.26N 99.17W
05/22/2004  1.00 INCH        FRANKLIN           NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0636 PM     TORNADO          1 W CAMPBELL            40.30N 98.75W
05/22/2004                   FRANKLIN           NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

POWER LINES DOWNED

0639 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     4 N FRANKLIN            40.15N 98.95W
05/22/2004                   FRANKLIN           NE   NWS EMPLOYEE

0643 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     10 WNW CAIRO            41.06N 98.79W
05/22/2004                   SHERMAN            NE   PUBLIC

0645 PM     HAIL             CARLETON                40.30N 97.67W
05/22/2004  2.00 INCH        THAYER             NE   CO-OP OBSERVER

0646 PM     TORNADO          BLADEN                  40.32N 98.60W
05/22/2004                   WEBSTER            NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

TREES UPROOTED AND POWER LINES DOWNED IN BLADEN

0652 PM     TORNADO          3 NW HEBRON             40.20N 97.63W
05/22/2004                   THAYER             NE   STORM CHASER

0705 PM     TORNADO          BLUE HILL               40.33N 98.45W
05/22/2004                   WEBSTER            NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

TRAILERS DAMAGED

0705 PM     HAIL             8 S HASTINGS            40.47N 98.39W
05/22/2004  0.75 INCH        ADAMS              NE   AMATEUR RADIO

0708 PM     HAIL             GRAFTON                 40.63N 97.72W
05/22/2004  2.75 INCH        FILLMORE           NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

0712 PM     TORNADO          BRUNING                 40.34N 97.56W
05/22/2004                   THAYER             NE   STORM CHASER

TORNADO ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR BRUNING FROM SPOTTER 3WSW OF
ALEXANDRIA.

0713 PM     TSTM WND GST     2 E AYR                 40.44N 98.40W
05/22/2004  60 MPH           ADAMS              NE   AMATEUR RADIO

0713 PM     HAIL             MCCOOL JUNCTION         40.74N 97.60W
05/22/2004  1.00 INCH        YORK               NE   PUBLIC

0714 PM     TORNADO          3 S AYR                 40.39N 98.44W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   AMATEUR RADIO

POWER LINES DOWNED

0715 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     4 NE BRADSHAW           40.92N 97.69W
05/22/2004                   YORK               NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0715 PM     HAIL             AYR                     40.44N 98.44W
05/22/2004  1.75 INCH        ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

0718 PM     TORNADO          4 SE AYR                40.40N 98.39W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   AMATEUR RADIO

POWER LINES DOWNED

0719 PM     TORNADO          4 SE AYR                40.40N 98.39W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

POWER LINES ON ROAD

0719 PM     HAIL             MCCOOL JUNCTION         40.74N 97.60W
05/22/2004  2.50 INCH        YORK               NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0722 PM     TORNADO          5 ESE AYR               40.44N 98.44W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

ROOF DAMAGE TO HOUSE AND DEBRIS ON ROAD

0723 PM     TORNADO          5 E AYR                 40.44N 98.35W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

CENTER PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEM FLIPPED OVER AND POWER
LINES DOWNED

0723 PM     TORNADO          1 S BLUE HILL           40.32N 98.45W
05/22/2004                   WEBSTER            NE   AMATEUR RADIO

POWER LINES DOWNED AND IRRIGATION PIPE STREWN ACROSS ROAD

0724 PM     TORNADO          6 E AYR                 40.44N 98.33W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

POWER LINES DOWNED WITHIN TOWN OF PAULINE

0724 PM     TORNADO          6 E AYR                 40.44N 98.33W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

DAMAGE DONE TO BUILDINGS

0725 PM     TORNADO          3 N ALEXANDRIA          40.29N 97.39W
05/22/2004                   THAYER             NE   NWS EMPLOYEE

0726 PM     TORNADO          7 E AYR                 40.44N 98.31W
05/22/2004                   ADAMS              NE   EMERGENCY MNGR

POWER LINES DOWNED

0732 PM     TORNADO          3 SE GLENVIL            40.47N 98.21W
05/22/2004                   CLAY               NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0735 PM     TSTM WND GST     5 N GOTHENBURG          41.00N 100.16W
05/22/2004  88 MPH           DAWSON             NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0737 PM     TORNADO          4 NW FAIRFIELD          40.47N 98.16W
05/22/2004                   CLAY               NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0742 PM     TORNADO          4 NW FAIRFIELD          40.47N 98.16W
05/22/2004                   CLAY               NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

TORNADO DERAILED FREIGHT TRAIN.

0744 PM     TORNADO          2 SW CLAY CENTER        40.52N 98.05W
05/22/2004                   CLAY               NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0745 PM     TSTM WND GST     LEXINGTON               40.78N 99.74W
05/22/2004  60 MPH           DAWSON             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

0745 PM     TORNADO          5 W LEXINGTON           40.78N 99.84W
05/22/2004                   DAWSON             NE   PUBLIC

NEAR DARR

0756 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     STROMSBURG              41.12N 97.59W
05/22/2004                   POLK               NE   FIRE DEPT/RESCUE

0842 PM     HAIL             2 NE HEBRON             40.19N 97.56W
05/22/2004  1.75 INCH        THAYER             NE   NWS EMPLOYEE

0845 PM     HAIL             9 N CARLETON            40.43N 97.67W
05/22/2004  1.75 INCH        FILLMORE           NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0855 PM     TORNADO          10 WSW CHESTER          39.95N 97.79W
05/22/2004                   REPUBLIC           KS   STORM CHASER

0905 PM     DOWNBURST        5 NW CHESTER            40.06N 97.68W
05/22/2004                   THAYER             NE   STORM CHASER

0907 PM     TORNADO          5 N BYRON               40.08N 97.77W
05/22/2004                   THAYER             NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0910 PM     TSTM WND GST     DANNEBROG               41.12N 98.55W
05/22/2004  81 MPH           HOWARD             NE   PUBLIC

0913 PM     HAIL             1 S HEBRON              40.15N 97.59W
05/22/2004  1.75 INCH        THAYER             NE   TRAINED SPOTTER

0927 PM     TORNADO          2 W ALEXANDRIA          40.25N 97.42W
05/22/2004                   THAYER             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

MODERATE TO EXTREME DAMAGE TO SEVERAL HOMES BETWEEN
ALEXANDRIA AND BELVIDERE. NUMEROUS OUTBUILDINGS DAMAGED
AND POWER LINES DOWNED.

0934 PM     HAIL             HEBRON                  40.17N 97.59W
05/22/2004  2.00 INCH        THAYER             NE   LAW ENFORCEMENT

1000 PM     HAIL             5 E HARDY               40.01N 97.83W
05/22/2004  1.75 INCH        NUCKOLLS           NE   STORM CHASER
Page Created by Michael Nelson on 05/23/04