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Record-setting hail falls near Wichita, Kansas

Sunday, September 19th, 2010 3:53am MDT
A monstrous hailstone measuring 7.75 inches in diameter fell near Wichita on September 15, 2010, setting a new record for Kansas.

A monstrous hailstone measuring 7.75 inches in diameter fell near Wichita on September 15, 2010, setting a new record for Kansas. (National Weather Service / Melissa McCarter)

Severe weather rolled through south-central and southeastern Kansas on the evening of Wednesday, September 15, 2010 and dropped tornadoes and potentially record-setting hail.  The supercell thunderstorms developed in the late afternoon and caused significant damage in the Wichita area.

  • Watch video of the hail pounding Wichita below

In Sedgwick and Cowley counties one supercell generated monstrous hail on the western side of Wichita.  The largest stone, right, was measured at 7.75 inches and fell at about 6:00pm in West Wichita.  According to the National Weather Service the chunk of ice weighted 1.1 pounds and was 15.5 inches in circumference. 

It has been preliminarily confirmed that the diameter of the hailstone from Wednesday easily eclipsed the state’s previous record setter of 5.7 inches in diameter – a hailstone that fell on September 3, 1970 near Coffeyville.  It does fall short of the all-time largest hailstone which fell on July 23rdof this year and measured 8.0 inches in diameter.

Hail from golf ball to softball sized swept across a large area breaking windows in homes and smashing vehicles. At Mid-Continent Airport the hail broke through skylights and damaged the facilities airport.  Several planes sustained damage as well. 

Video - Monstrous hail falls in Wichita, Kansas on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.Strong, straight-line winds up to 80 mph were recorded in Cowley, Wilson, Labette and Cherryvale counties.  Downed power lines resulted in 10,000 people being without power at one point.

Five tornadoes were reported south, southeast and east of Wichita.  The twisters were on the ground for short periods of time and did not appear to directly cause any damage.  All have been rated EF0 with winds from 65 mph to 85 mph by the National Weather Service.

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