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Between the afternoon hours of Sunday the 8th and the early morning hours of Monday the 9th, severe thunderstorms pounded mainly western and southern portions of the
30-county NWS Hastings coverage area (click HERE for a map).

The overall-worst weather focused over North Central Kansas. Early in the evening, a supercell storm spawned a tornado that tracked northeast out of Ellis County (covered by NWS Dodge City) into the Codell area of far southern Rooks County. Fortunately, this tornado dissipated only a few miles into the NWS Hastings coverage area. However, over the course of the next several hours, numerous large-hail producing storms repeatedly tracked over portions of North Central Kansas, before activity finally weakened and/or moved out of the area by around 3 AM. The largest reported hail of 2" diameter fell eight miles north-northeast of Natoma in Osborne County.

Although the local Nebraska counties saw overall-less severe weather than Kansas, there were still several reports of hail up to around ping pong ball size and wind gusts up to around 55 MPH. The majority of hail fell in western counties such as Sherman, Dawson and Gosper. There were also isolated instances of damaging winds farther east, including in Red Cloud, where estimated 75 MPH winds uprooted/damaged several trees at the golf course.

This event was driven by a strong upper level low pressure system centered off to the west of the local area, from Colorado into western South Dakota. At the surface, a warm front extended east-northeast into northern Kansas from low pressure centered over southwestern Kansas, helping to focus the majority of severe weather south of the Nebraska-Kansas border.

NWS Hastings radar loop from 4:00 p.m. CDT on May 8th through 5:00 a.m. CDT on May 9th. The NWS Hastings coverage area is outlined in orange and labled "GID". Interstates are in red.

Tornado Information:

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South of Codell, KS
Ellis/Rooks Counties

Date Sunday, May 8, 2016
Time (Local) 7:08 pm CDT
EF Rating EF-2
Est. Peak Winds 125 mph
Path Length 7.0 miles
Max Width 440 yards
Injuries/Deaths 0


An EF-2 rated tornado with a peak estimated windspeed of 125 mph moved across northeast Elllis County into southern Rooks County. In Rooks County, damage was minimal as the tornado lifted within a mile after entering the county line.  

For more information about the tornado as it was in Rooks county, see this link from the Dodge City Forecast Office. 

Track Map

Track Map EF-Scale

Downloadable KMZ File

Near Codell, KS
Rooks County

Date Sunday, May 8, 2016
Time (Local) 7:27 pm CDT
EF Rating EF-1
Est. Peak Winds 110 mph
Path Length 3 miles
Max Width 500 yards
Injuries/Deaths 0


A second tornado formed just east of the first tornado's end point, moving northeast across rural areas southeast of Codell, KS. This tornado was rated an EF-1 with damage to trees, fences and several power poles.

Track Map

Track Map EF-Scale

Downloadable KMZ File

Photo Photo
Tree and power pole damage near Codell, KS. Photos from NWS Storm Survey.

The Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:


65-85 mph
86-110 mph
111-135 mph
136-165 mph
166-200 mph
200+ mph


Photo Photo Photo
Hail 8 miles north-northeast of Natoma, KS.
Photo courtesy of Dale Beisner.
Hail in Cozad.
Photo courtesy of Tonya Propp.


Photo Photo Photo
Tree Damage in Minden.
Photo courtesy of NTV News.
Lightning over Chester.
Photo courtesy of Art Whitton.

Storm Reports

The majority of the reports received at the NWS Hastings office came in the form of hail, ranging anywhere from the size of dimes to hen eggs. The few wind reports there were generally ranged from 45 to 55 MPH, with the exception being in the Minden and Red Cloud areas. In Minden, strong winds snapped 2 large tree limbs, while in Red Cloud, wind gusts estimated near 75 MPH uprooted several trees at the local golf course.

Below is a list of the higher hail reports:

  • Hen egg size (2.0"): 8 miles north-northeast of Natoma, KS
  • Golf ball size (1.75"): Natoma, KS; 8 miles south-southwest of Osborne, KS; 12 miles north-northeast of Hunter, KS
  • Ping Pong ball size (1.5"): Litchfield; Codell, KS
  • Half Dollar size (1.25"): Cozad; Tipton, KS; 8 miles south of Beloit, KS

Click the image below for more detailed information regarding severe weather reports from the area.


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