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Archive for Tuesday, March 31, 1998

FAST-MOVING STORMS GO EASY ON AREA

March 31, 1998

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Despite severe thunderstorm warnings for the area on Monday, no significant damage was reported.

Weather spotters in Douglas and Jefferson counties were activated for the first time this year after severe thunderstorm warnings were issued on Monday.

But the storms' bark was much worse than their bite.

``It was a very busy day -- not anything terribly significant -- but it was a good activation practice for our spotters,'' said Paula Phillips, emergency management coordinator for Douglas County.

Storms moving at 60 to 70 mph brought heavy rains and occasional quarter-sized hail to the area. But no damage was reported, Phillips said.

Because the storms were moving so fast, the hail was relatively brief, she said.

``They build real quickly and they fall apart just as quickly,'' she said.

In Jefferson County, spotters reported pea- and marble-sized hail.

``We didn't have any reports of high winds at all, only hail and strong rain,'' said Betty Coffman, a dispatcher in the Jefferson County sheriff's office.

A tornado watch was issued through Monday night, but no severe weather occurred after about 3 p.m.

Unofficially, Lawrence received .79 inches of rain as of 8 p.m., according to a downtown rain gauge at Sunflower Cablevision, Seventh and New Hampshire.

Today's forecast called for a 30 percent chance for showers with a high 50 to 55.

Wednesday was expected to be dry with highs 60 to 65.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message is 832-7187. His e-mail address is dekker@ljworld.com.

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