National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce



May 12th, 2004 may become one of the more memorable days for several people across Kansas and across the nation.  The National Weather Service in Wichita, KS has officially documented, assessed, and tracked 11 tornadoes across the central portions of Harper County. 
All of the tornadoes were spawned by cyclical Supercells that moved  across the county between the hours of 7:30 pm and 10 pm. The Supercells produced five F0 tornadoes, one F1 tornado, three F2 tornadoes, and one F4 tornado. The strongest tornado according to the Fujita scale occurred just after 8:30 pm three miles to the southeast of Harper.

The two residents of the home were seeking refuge in their basement at the time the tornado ravaged their home. After looking at all of the debris that had collected in the basement, it was a miracle that only a minor injury was sustained.  The basement had filled with copious amounts of debris that included two debarked trees, an automobile engine, a refrigerator, and several other unidentifiable objects.
The most notable tornado, which received widespread coverage on local and national television, occurred 1 mile southeast of Attica. This tornado was rated as an F2 due to the complete loss of the roof, two barns being  destroyed and slight realignment of the vehicles.

More F2 damage occurred just about one mile south of the location that  received F4 damage.             

Map of tornadoes on May 12th

Home before it was struck by F4 tornado

What was left of home after being struck by an F4 tornado

Debarked tree from F4 tornado

Tree damage from F4.

F2 tornado near Attica, KS

F2 tornado near Attica, KS

F2 damage near Attica, KS.

F2 Damage near Attica, KS.

F2 damage near Attica, KS.

Radar image of supercell thunderstorm that produced the F4 tornado.

Radar velocity from storm that produced the F4 tornado.

5.24 inch hail that was produced from this supercell