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Calm Midweek, Before Weekend Winter Storm?

The weather pattern remains mostly quiet midweek but this may change by the weekend as confidence is increasing on a winter storm along the East Coast. On Wednesday, expect below normal temperatures for the Eastern half of the U.S., locally heavy snow in the southern Rockies and High Plains, showers and isolated thunderstorms in Florida and air stagnation issues in the Northwest. Read More >


 

1. Event overview

During the late afternoon and evening of June 22, 2003, severe storms produced tornadoes and destructive flooding in Thayer and Jewell counties and giant hail in Hamilton County. The storms initiated in conjunction with an intensifying low level jet that developed during the evening along an outflow boundary that had developed earlier Sunday morning in association with convection across northern Nebraska. Extreme instability developed during the afternoon Sunday as a result of continued deep moisture advection originating from the Gulf of Mexico, intense surface heating, and strong wind shear. Two primary supercells formed, one across northern and central Hamilton county, and another over Thayer, Jewell and Republic counties.

An F0 tornado touched down at 635 pm several miles west of Deshler in Thayer county and tracked east and dissipated just northwest of town at 650 pm. A second F2 tornado developed at 652 pm near the southeast side of town and then tracked west through the south side of Deshler and then turned southwest before dissipating around 705 pm...see map.  Unfortunately one fatality (the first tornado related fatality in Nebraska since 1988) and 7 injuries occurred with this second tornado in Deshler. In addition over 100 homes were damaged including 20 destroyed. 9 businesses were damaged or destroyed. This tornadic supercell remained stationary for several hours over  Thayer county which led to tremendous rainfall  as shown here in our WSR-88D Storm Total Precipitation estimate (official measurements as high as 10.62 inches at Lovewell dam and unofficial measurements of 12.5 inches in Hebron) which led to significant flooding over much of Thayer county.

In Aurora in Hamilton county, giant hail fell across the west and northwest side of town. Hailstones were reported to be the size of volleyballs...which was not far from the truth given the enormous impact craters left in the ground...some as large as 12 inches and over 3 inches deep on grass lawns. One gentleman risked life and limb to grab the largest known hailstone to fall in Nebraska by grabbing this monster, which had a diameter of 7.0 inches and a circumference of 18 3/4 inches. Another stone hit his garage, punching this large hole in the structure. Incredible indeed.

The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies has developed an interesting page with satellite data and sounding data from Omaha and North Platte concerning this event.
 

 

The following analyzed surface map depicts general meteorological conditions across the region, at 3 PM local time (Fig. 1). Surface map image available Friday June 27th.

 

Fig. 1. Surface map for 3 PM 22 June 2003 with subjectively analyzed mean sea level pressure (solid) contoured every 1 mb. Standard station model used; temperature and dewpoint (°F), pressure (mb), 3-h pressure tendenc (mb), and sky conditions reported. Winds in knots with one full barb, and one half barb equal to 10, and 5 knots, respectively. Pertinent surface features depicted.

This visible satellite image at 325 pm LST shows the distinct outflow boundary from Fig.1 running from just east of Aurora to near Concordia. Note the wave clouds to the east of this boundary across eastern Nebraska indicative of strong low level shear with 35 knots noted at 1250 meters above ground at the Fairbury wind profiler (red wind barb, center of image).

 

Fig. 2. Visible image prior to convective initiation. Valid at 325 pm local, 22 June 2003.

The Deshler tornado (photo courtesy of Steve Fintel) and Thayer county flooding was associated with this very large supercell thunderstorm (Storm B) that developed over southwest Thayer county, along the cool side (east) of the surface outflow boundary (Fig. 3). The storm moved little for several hours impacting nearly all of Thayer, northeast Jewell and northern Republic counties, with very heavy rain, strong winds, and at times, hail up to and exceeding 2.5 inches.

Fig. 3. Radar base reflectivity of Storm B as it continued to  develop over Thayer county, note also the intense supercell (Storm A) over Aurora at the top of the image. Valid at  6:58 PM local, 22 June 2003.

The large hail that fell in Aurora was associated with a supercell thunderstorm (Storm A) that developed near Giltner, along the cool side (east) of the surface outflow boundary (Fig. 4). The storm moved northeast at ~5 mph impacting most of central and northern Hamilton county and northern York county, with heavy rain, strong winds, and at times, hail up to and exceeding 4.5 inches.

Fig. 4. Composite reflectivity of Storm A. Green triangles indicate hail algorithm derived size. Giant hailstones were being ejected out the backside of the main updraft over northwest York county and falling at this time in Aurora. Image valid at 7:48 PM local, 22 June 2003.

On June 23 and 25, 2003, the Hastings National Weather Service Office conducted  damage surveys documenting the size of the hail and  damage in the city of Aurora. The largest stone found on June 23 is shown here (Fig.5a) which measured 6.5 inches in diameter, 17 3/8 inches in circumference and a certified weight of 1.33 pounds. Larger hailstones were reported and verified on June 25 with this hailstone measuring 7.0 inches in diameter and a 18 3/4 inch circumference shown here (Fig.5b). Many very large impact craters were noted in some yards, with the largest measuring 12 inches wide and 3 inches deep (Fig. 6 & 7)

 




Fig. 5a & b. NWS Hastings pictures of the giant hailstones documented to have fallen in Aurora.

 

Fig. 6 & 7. NWS Hastings pictures of a large impact crater in a residents yard.

 

 

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE
635 AM CDT MON JUN 23 2003

...EVENT SUMMARY FOR 06-22-2003...

TIME(LST)  CITY LOCATION         STATE  EVENT/REMARKS             COUNTY LOCATION

0500 PM    GRAND ISLAND          NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   HALL     ONE INCH HAIL OVER FONNER VIEW GOLFCOURSE. 
                                                                           REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0502 PM    1 E GRAND ISLAND      NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   HALL     REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0515 PM    3 S GILTNER           NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   HAMILTON REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0528 PM    DESHLER               NE     2.75 INCH HAIL 06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0540 PM    1 W DESHLER           NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0544 PM    1 W AURORA            NE     1.25 INCH HAIL 06/22/03   HAMILTON

0554 PM    8 SW DESHLER          NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0600 PM    AURORA                NE     2.75 INCH HAIL 06/22/03   HAMILTON REPORTED BY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

0605 PM    AURORA                NE     4.5 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   HAMILTON REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0620 PM    DESHLER               NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0625 PM    BRADSHAW              NE     1.75 INCH HAIL 06/22/03   YORK

0629 PM    DESHLER               NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   THAYER   CONSIDERABLE STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. TREES DOWN AND
                                                                           ELECTRICITY OUT. DEBRIS IN THE AIR. INJURIES 
                                                                           REPORTED.

0630 PM    2 SW CARLETON         NE     1.5 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY COOPERATIVE OBSERVER.

0700 PM    5 SW BENEDICT         NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   YORK     REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0710 PM    7 NW HEBRON           NE     .75 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0715 PM    SHICKLEY              NE     .88 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   FILLMORE REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0721 PM    4 N ST PAUL           NE     .75 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   HOWARD   REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0730 PM    3 N BRADSHAW          NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   YORK     REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0730 PM    HEBRON                NE     70+ MPH        06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY FIRE AND RESCUE. 100 YEAR OLD TREES
                                        TSTM GUST                          DOWN IN DESHLER.

0745 PM    1 S SHICKLEY          NE     60 MPH         06/22/03   FILLMORE POWER LINES DOWN.
                                        TSTM GUST

0800 PM    SPALDING              NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   GREELEY  REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0806 PM    7 W FULLERTON         NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   NANCE    WALL CLOUD 7 MILES WEST OF FULLERTON.

0806 PM    STRANG                NE     FLOOD          06/22/03   FILLMORE DEEP WATER ON HIGHWAY THROUGH STRANG.

0820 PM    EDGAR                 NE     70 MPH         06/22/03   CLAY     TREE LIMBS DOWN.
                                        TSTM GUST

0830 PM    FULLERTON             NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   NANCE    REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0835 PM    1 S FULLERTON         NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   NANCE    REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0855 PM    AURORA                NE     4.5 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   HAMILTON REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER. HOLES IN NEIGHBORS 
                                                                           ROOF BIG ENOUGH TO CRAWL THROUGH.

0855 PM    HEBRON                NE     FLOOD          06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY FIRE AND RESCUE. FLOODING NORTH AND
                                                                           WEST OF HEBRON ON HIGHWAY 81 AND 136. CARS 
                                                                           STALLED IN WATER.

0855 PM    8 SW STOCKTON         KS     .75 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   ROOKS    REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0930 PM    DESHLER               NE     TORNADO        06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY FIRE AND RESCUE. 2 CONFIRMED 
                                                                           INJURIES WITH EARLIER STORM WEST OF DESHLER.

0930 PM    4 NW LOVEWELL         KS     .75 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   JEWELL   REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL. 14 DEGREE 
                                                                           TEMPERATURE DROP IN 5 MINUTES.

0930 PM    ONG                   NE     60+ MPH        06/22/03   CLAY     REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL. LARGE 
                                        TSTM GUST                          TREES UPROOTED.

0930 PM    DESHLER               NE     FLOOD          06/22/03   THAYER   REPORTED BY FIRE AND RESCUE. ROAD FLOODING WEST
                                                                           OF DESHLER.

0945 PM    LOVEWELL RES          KS     1 INCH HAIL    06/22/03   JEWELL   REPORTED BY COOPERATIVE OBSERVER.

0950 PM    EDGAR                 NE     60+ MPH        06/22/03   CLAY     REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL. EIGHT 
                                        TSTM GUST                          INCH BRANCHES BROKEN.

1059 PM    MANKATO               KS     .75 INCH HAIL  06/22/03   JEWELL   REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

1207 AM    13 N AGRA             KS     TORNADO        06/23/03   PHILLIPS REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

1232 AM    2 S FRANKLIN          NE     .75 INCH HAIL  06/23/03   FRANKLIN REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

1233 AM    FORMOSO               KS     1 INCH HAIL    06/23/03   JEWELL   REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

1245 AM    12 NNW SMITH CENTER   KS     TORNADO        06/23/03   SMITH    BRIEF TORNADO. REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT 
                                                                           OFFICIAL.

1250 AM    5 NW REAMSVILLE       KS     TORNADO        06/23/03   SMITH    TWO BRIEF TORNADOES. JUST EAST OF HIGHWAY 8. 
                                                                           REPORTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL.

0122 AM    HOLDREGE              NE     .75 INCH HAIL  06/23/03   PHELPS   REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER.

0155 AM    HOLSTEIN              NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/23/03   ADAMS    REPORTED BY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

0225 AM    HEBRON                NE     FLOOD          06/23/03   THAYER   MASS EVACUATIONS IN PROGRESS ACROSS SOUTHERN 
                                                                           HEBRON ALONG THE LITTLE BLUE RIVER. MANY ROADS 
                                                                           CLOSED OR IMPASSABLE. REPORTED BY EMERGENCY 
                                                                           MANAGEMENT.

0235 AM    PROSSER               NE     .75 INCH HAIL  06/23/03   ADAMS    REPORTED BY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

0530 AM    ELYRIA                NE     1 INCH HAIL    06/23/03   VALLEY   REPORTED BY PUBLIC.

0630 AM    LOVEWELL RESERVOIR    KS     FLOOD          06/23/03   JEWELL   BELOW DAM FLOODING. COUNTY ROADS UNDER WATER. 
                                                                           REPORTED BY COOPERATIVE OBSERVER.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

A sincere thank you to the kind people of Aurora, for their assistance in the hail and damage survey. And a big thank you to Al Pietrycha for his detailed surface analysis graphic.

Web page and graphics produced by Todd Holsten