Kansas weather updates, via Twitter
3:07 a.m. update
If you're in Douglas County and still without power, you're not alone. There are still more than 3,000 county customers with the lights off.
2:20 a.m. update
After several hours, the number of Douglas County residents without power is finally beginning to drop. At one point, nearly 7,000 Westar Energy customers reported losing power. As of 2:20 a.m., that number was only slightly above 4,300. There is currently no estimated time for full power restoration.
12:56 a.m. update
The National Weather Service has canceled the severe thunderstorm watch for Douglas County an hour early, but not before the storm system worked its way across the county. Nearly 7,000 residents are still without power, the result of lightning and high winds that took out trees and power lines alike.
There is currently no time frame for power restoration, but Westar crews are out addressing the issues.
12:42 a.m. update
Even with the storm mostly through the county, power outage reports continue to roll in. Currently more than 6,300 county residents are sitting in the dark.
12:32 a.m. update
The warning has been allowed to expire, but the severe thunderstorm watch for Douglas County remains in effect until 2 a.m. Westar Energy crews are currently working to restore power to more than 6,000 county customers who are currently without.
12:05 a.m. update
From a noise standpoint the storm seems to be nearly over in Douglas County. There are still more than 5,200 Westar Energy customers reporting that the power is out.
Emergency crews continue to respond to reports of power lines that are either arcing, sparking or down completely. There has also been a report of high water in the roadway. Drive with caution if you find yourself needing to be on the roads.
The severe thunderstorm warning should be allowed to expire at its current 12:30 a.m. deadline.
11:44 p.m. update
A few minutes ago the National Weather Service extended the severe thunderstorm warning currently in effect for the county. The new expiration time is 12:30 a.m. Friday. The storm has left more than 5,100 county residents without power.
The storm has produced damaging winds and heavy rain along with reported hail. Numerous reports of downed and arcing power lines continue to keep Douglas County emergency dispatchers busy. Emergency fire crews have been dispatched to deal with potentially dangerous power lines while the rain continues to pound the county.
The storm, which extends from Topeka to Lawrence, is picking up speed, now moving south at 65 miles per hour.
11:32 p.m. update
The number of reported power lines down seems to have something to do with the number of outages continuing to rise. There are currently more than 5,000 people in Douglas County reportedly without power.
The main areas seem to be near 23rd Street and Kasold Drive as well as near Sixth and Massachusetts Streets. The rest of the outages are scattered across the county.
11:27 p.m. update
The number of county residents without power continues to climb, with more than 3,500 now reporting outages. City emergency crews are tending to arcing power lines near trees that are causing potential fire hazards.
The severe thunderstorm warning is set to expire in about 20 minutes, but not before more wind, rain and possibly hail.
11:19 p.m. update
More than 2,700 Westar Energy customers in Douglas County are currently reporting being without power. Multiple reports of downed power lines and many fire alarm calls have been reported as this storm system makes its way through the area.
11:10 p.m. update
There it is. The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for Douglas County until 11:45 p.m.
The storm is capable of producing hail and damaging winds up to 60 miles per hour. The line of storms extends from eight miles northwest of Topeka to five miles west of Tonganoxie, moving south at 55 miles per hour.
Residents should prepare for large hail, damaging winds and heavy rains that have accompanied this storm.
11:01 p.m. update
A line of storms extending from Manhattan all the way to Kansas City may brush over Lawrence in the next few hours. Portions of southern Jefferson County are currently under a severe thunderstorm warning and it's possible Douglas County may soon follow suit.
Reports from around the area have identified damaging winds and small hail in surrounding counties.
9:02 p.m. update
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 2 a.m.
According to the weather service, the watch covers Douglas and all surrounding counties in Kansas.
The primary threats from this storm are hail up to 2.5" inches in diameter, as well as wind gusts up to 80 mph.
The strongest line of storms is currently located over Nebraska, moving south, southeast.
Check back to LJWorld.com for updates.