Archive for Sunday, May 22, 2011

All severe weather watches, warnings for Douglas County allowed to expire

The U.S. National Weather Service has placed eastern Kansas under a slight risk for severe weather Saturday, May 21, 2011.

The U.S. National Weather Service has placed eastern Kansas under a slight risk for severe weather Saturday, May 21, 2011.

May 22, 2011, 12:00 a.m. Updated May 21, 2011, 12:56 a.m.


Kansas weather updates, via Twitter
A possible funnel cloud can be seen in Shawnee County in this user submitted photo from Saturday, May 21, 2011.

A possible funnel cloud can be seen in Shawnee County in this user submitted photo from Saturday, May 21, 2011.

Severe storms roll through eastern Kansas

Two rounds of severe storms rolled through Douglas and surrounding counties Saturday, May 21, 2011. Storm chaser Evan Bentley explained what the storm was doing Saturday evening near McLouth. Enlarge video

12:56 a.m. update

The National Weather Service will allow the severe thunderstorm watch for Douglas County to expire at 1 a.m.

11:32 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado warning for southeastern Douglas County. A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 1 a.m. Sunday.

11:02 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has issued a new tornado warning in effect for southern Douglas County and northern Franklin County through midnight. Trained weather spotters continue to track storms capable of producing tornadoes near Baldwin City as well as Pomona.

Again, anyone in the affected areas is advised to seek shelter immediately.

10:54 p.m. update

Wellsville has been added to the list of cities that may be effected by the tornado reported on the ground near Baldwin City. Trained spotters advised the tornado was moving east at 30 miles per hour.

10:43 p.m. update

A tornado has been reported on the ground near U.S. Highway 59 near the Franklin County line. The tornado is heading east toward Baldwin City. Residents in the area are advised to seek immediate shelter in the lowest level of their buildings, away from windows. The tornado was located about six miles southwest of Baldwin City. Debris has been reported on the ground in the area.

10:40 p.m. update

The severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Douglas County has been extended through 1 a.m. Sunday. Severe weather has passed through no

9:58 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for southern Douglas County effective through 11 p.m. Saturday. The affected area includes Ottawa and Baldwin City. Anyone in the affected area should seek shelter immediately. The NWS advised the tornado could be wrapped in rain, making it nearly impossible to see. Spotters are tracking the tornado with is moving east at 35 miles per hour.

The tornado warning currently in effect for Franklin County has been extended until 11 p.m.

Damaging hail is once again expected to accompany the storm.

9:36 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has issued another tornado warning for Jefferson County, this one in effect until 10:30 p.m. The storm was located near Perry Lake about eight miles west of Oskaloosa. The NWS advised that tornadoes can be very difficult to spot at night and that anyone in the area should seek immediate cover. Large destructive hail is expected with the storm as well. The system is expected to move northeast at 35 miles per hour.

Another tornado warning is also in effect for areas near Osage County as another storm likely to produce a tornado moves through the area. That warning is in effect until 10:15 p.m.

8:47 p.m. update

All tornado warnings in the area have been canceled. Severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect for parts of northern Jefferson County. Minor damage from the storm was reported near Perry Lake but the majority of the weather passed without much incident.

8:35 p.m. update

The severe weather that produced several funnel clouds continues to move east through the state. The National Weather Service has canceled the tornado warning that was in place in Jefferson County and has extended the tornado warning in Leavenworth County through 8:57 p.m.

Douglas County remains under a severe thunderstorm watch until 11 p.m. Saturday.

7:37 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has now extended the tornado warning into parts of Leavenworth County as the storm system makes its way east across Kansas. The warning in Leavenworth County is in effect until 8:15 p.m. Tennis ball-sized hail is expected to accompany the storm.

Journal-World photographer Richard Gwin is currently with weather spotters near McLouth watching what they say is a supercell developing.

7:28 p.m. update

The severe weather system that moved through portions of Douglas County Saturday evening has continued producing tornadoes, including one spotted near Perry Lake about six miles southwest of Oskaloosa. The tornado was reported just after 7:20 p.m. The storm has also produced hail the size of baseballs in some areas.

Have pictures from the passing storm? Submit them here and we'll add them to our gallery.

7:09 p.m. update

The tornado warning for Douglas County has been canceled early. The storm will continue north of the county and a tornado warning is still in effect for Jefferson County. The severe thunderstorm watch for Douglas County remains in effect until 11 p.m.

7:02 p.m. update

The storm system that has been producing funnel clouds and damaging hail has also reportedly stopped Union Pacific trains on the westbound tracks toward Topeka. Damage from the reported tornado touchdown in Lecompton has not been confirmed. The storm is currently near Perry and predicted to continue heading north toward the Oskaloosa area.

6:56 p.m. update

A tornado has been reported on the ground two miles west of Whitfield, near Lecompton. Anyone in the area is advised to seek shelter in a basement or storm shelter immediately. We have a photographer en route to the area as well.

6:49 p.m. update

The tornado warning for Douglas County has been extended through 7:45 p.m. for the extreme northern part of the county. The storm system has produced funnel clouds and damaging hail.

6:39 p.m. update

The tornado warning for extreme northwest portion of Douglas County is in effect until 7 p.m. Douglas County sheriff's deputies have reported multiple funnel clouds visible in Shawnee County. A touchdown has also been reported in Topeka.

6:29 p.m. update

A funnel cloud has been reported near Topeka. The current warning for northwest Douglas County does not cover Lawrence, but the storm is heading east. Multiple reports on Twitter have reported that the tornado has touched down in Topeka. Emergency weather messages indicated the funnel cloud was seen in Shawnee County and the storm is capable of producing a tornado at any time.

6:15 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for northwestern Douglas County effective through 7 p.m. Saturday. Trained spotters located a funnel cloud in the area moving east at 25 miles per hour. People in the affected area are advised to seek shelter immediately.

The severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 11 p.m.

5:17 p.m. update

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Douglas County effective until 11 p.m. Saturday.

7:59 a.m. update

The National Weather Service forecast calls for more rain and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening in east-central, north-central and northeast Kansas.

Some of these storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes being the primary threat.

The eastern half of Kansas has been placed under a slight risk for severe weather by the NWS.

Check back with for updates.


fissuregirl 6 years ago

It's the end of the world as we know it... LOL

gorilla10 6 years ago

Well at least you will be wrong in style.....

drewnon 6 years ago

Was bout to ask the same thing.

sittinthefence 6 years ago

Sirens going off here in East Lawrence too

kernal 6 years ago

And, Channel 6 not telling us anything - just showing a weather map. Way to go Knowlogy.

KU_cynic 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

DennisAnderson 6 years ago

KRichards is correct. We will have an update soon.

BigPrune 6 years ago

West Lawrence didn't get the sirens - only the east part of Lawrence got the sirens from what I've heard talking to people. What's up with that? Someone hit the wrong button?

BigPrune 6 years ago

If they went off in West Lawrence, I didn't hear them and neither did my neighbor.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

I could hear them just fine, and I live right by 6th and Wakarusa!

aha 6 years ago

We heard sirens here. Clinton Parkway & Wakarusa.

BigPrune 6 years ago

I didn't hear it near 15th & Kasold.

Kris Adair 6 years ago

Same area and we heard them loud and clear. Just serving dinner. Hard to explain to toddlers what was going one while I was trying to determine if cover necessary.

thinkagain 6 years ago

Maybe the Legislature was raptured up.

yoornotmee 6 years ago

If my dogs hadn't started howling I wouldn't have known the sirens were going off. Can we increase their volume? I'm not hard of hearing, I didn't have the TV or A/C on and I even have two windows open. And it's a quiet neighborhood. I should have heard it.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

Not to start a whole controversy again but;

Weather Radio. (or if you rather "all-hazards radio")

I'm not saying it's your civic duty to own one; they're very programmable now (so they don't go off for any little storm) and the price is much better than it once was.

I find it hard to believe there isn't a cell phone 'app' out there that would do the exact same thing as well (alert you to weather warnings) . I don't, and never will own a cell phone so that's not 'first hand'.

Bunny_Hotcakes 6 years ago

p> text messages for this type of thing are free and I've found them to be very reliable. Keeping in mind there is no QoS for text messages, I wouldn't call them an ideal substitute for a NOAA wx radio but they will do in a pinch. If you have a smartphone, TWC's app is good too--and the pay version will do push notifications of watches and warnings.

I still have a wx radio, but I like having the text and app options as backup.

yoornotmee 6 years ago

There's a controversy about weather radio?

Bunny_Hotcakes 6 years ago

I think the controversy lies in whether or not it is a "civic duty" to own one or not. I think there are enough good alternatives that it's not a 100% absolute necessity, but I own one because I like redundancy for these types of things.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

Oh this town. Well at least there was a few years back. (At that time) some folks on this blog became very offended that anyone suggest you get a 'weather radio', it is frivolous and unpatriotic. It is solely the responsibility of Douglas County Emergency Management to lead us by the hand to our storm shelters. How dare anyone suggest otherwise!?

Ok...that might be a bit of an exaggeration of the con-weather radio/pro-siren side.

yoornotmee 6 years ago

Wow. What a strange thing to get worked up about.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

Here's a link to a video about the particular incident that got folks worked up about city sirens vs. personal weather radios.

(IF the link works.....)

"You decide"

CHEEZIT 6 years ago

The dirt is the sirens are only for people outdoors not in their cars or in their house!!!

DennisAnderson 6 years ago

Here are some photos from Twitter accounts of the funnel cloud in Topeka:

• @johnkary: Major funnel pic from South Topeka. Take cover NOW! #ksstorms @LJWorld

• @LJWorld N 1600 and e 100 looking west

KU_cynic 6 years ago

Where was the freakin' tornado spotted?

This is worst emergency weather reporting I've ever seen.

KU_cynic 6 years ago

Emporia, Wichita, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, Colombia, and Tierra del Fuego are south of Topeka.

Please give me information that I can use.

DennisAnderson 6 years ago

According to the NWS, a tornado has been reported on the ground near Lecompton.

DennisAnderson 6 years ago

A tornado has been reported on the ground in Jefferson County.

mr_right_wing 6 years ago

about 10 spotters/chasers camped out at 6th st & k-10 ramp.

kernal 6 years ago

That was a close call for Lawrence. The Rapture just barely missed us.

northtowngrl 6 years ago

End of the world?

I'm just sayin..... :)

Katie Horner on the way out at KCTV5? Weep for the end of the Katie Horner Drinking Game

Hope the link works. If not just google the headline. It's on

riverdrifter 6 years ago

Correct. Time will tell if it runs out of steam now that the sun is down.

riverdrifter 6 years ago

That supercell has lost no steam and is indeed nasty. Keep an eye on it, for sure.

Bassetlover 6 years ago

J-World Staff----I didn't receive the text alert on my cell phone about Douglas County being under a tornado warning until almost ten minutes after the sirens sounded. Why such a delay? Fortunately, when the sirens sounded we were able to get inside and turn on the tv stations to see what was going on. Had this occurred in the middle of the night, ten minutes delay can make a significant difference in obtaining safety. Just curious.

yoornotmee 6 years ago

The sirens aren't always heard. A friend of mine was outside and didn't even hear them today. She only knew from the text.

riverdrifter 6 years ago

I have a much deeper respect for the NWS than you do. If it weren't for them, you would know nothing about this storm.

kernal 6 years ago

What Big B said. That monster cell is gaining strength and it appears it is headed for Lawrence. If I lived in a mobile home, I'd find somewhere else to go within the next 10 to 15 minutes to allow for additional travel time for safer shelter.

kernal 6 years ago

Yup, it changed from a northeasterly direction to more of an easterly direction.

gorilla10 6 years ago

I was in Oskalosa for the first go around. Followed the funnel all the way from Tecumseh. I think Im a pretty good chaser. Saw a twister and didn't get hit with a drop of rain!!!!!

riverdrifter 6 years ago

Sirens are sounding. To the bunker I go. Got whisky. And dog.

riverdrifter 6 years ago

Out of the bunker at 1110pm. Brief heavy rain, 0.83" in 20 minutes, hi wind gust of 21 mph at my house. At peak, the rain rate was 8.11" per hour. No word of any reported twister damage so far near BC.

riverdrifter 6 years ago

"Titan Doppler"?! HA! HA! HA! HA! Nimrod. Get serious.

true_patriot 6 years ago

I hear there's no government in Somalia; sounds like you'd be a lot happier there.

There are many government employees (and volunteers) from the city and county all the up through the federal level to figure out incredibly complicated weather phenomenon and make the best judgement calls they can to protects lives and property. I can assure you they are not hand-wringers.

I have several sources for storm info and radar and like to feel like I'm playing a role in forming the best picture I can to make decisions from, but the county emergency folks to the NWS are the core component of that. If you think you alone have better decision-making capability than all of the government layers working together in a complex system, you are putting the lives of your family in danger.

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