National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

May 19th, 2013 south central Kansas tornadoes

Around 2:30 pm a supercell thunderstorm developed over Harper county and tracked northeast. Around 3:30 pm this storm produced a tornado southwest of Wichita. This tornado initially touched down around 5 miles north of Clearwater and traveled northeast for around 4.5 miles. This tornado rating was upgraded to an EF-2 based on information from the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar data.  This means it produced winds up to 135 mph.  

Additional weak tornadoes touched down across south central Kansas during the late afternoon hours of May 19th.


Tornado track southwest of Wichita

Larger map of tornado tracks



Tornado Pictures




Tornado around 4 miles west of Clearwater a few minutes before it started causing damage. Picture taken by Mick McGuire









Photo taken just south of South Haven. Courtesy OK Highway Patrol and Sumner county Emergency Management





Radar Images


Wichita Supercell - FAA terminal doppler radar located just east of Clearwater  
Radar image from 3:27pm
Radar image from 3:32pm


Wichita Supercell - from the NWS 88D

Radar reflectivity of the tornado producing supercell at 331 pm

as it approached the National Weather Service (NWS) office in

Wichita, Kansas. The black dot is the radar dome.   The

"hook echo" is indicative of a possible tornado that was

moving northeast along Kansas Highway 42.   A tornado

was reported at this time.

Radar reflectivity at 336 pm. Tornado still being reported.


Radar reflectivity at 341 pm. Notice the "hook echo"

takes a subtle "jog" to the east, just two miles south

of the NWS Wichita.  Tornado still being reported.

Radar reflectivity at 345 pm. Notice the "hook echo"

continues to "jog" to the east, just two miles southeast

of the NWS Wichita.  Tornado has lifted!!.



  Damage Pictures

The following damage pictures were taken between 5 miles north of Clearwater and 2  miles south of the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport


The trailer in the field weighed 3,500 pounds and was blown 300 yards





Video courtesy of: Borochaser

Shane Adams, Bridget Geaughan, Wes Carter, and I observed a brief tornado as we were traveling north out of Conway Springs on May 19th. The tornado stayed on the ground for a little over a minute before dissipating. This was from the same storm that would produce a tornado around the Wichita area approximately 30 minutes later.


Video courtesy of: chasetheplains

]This video was shot southwest of Wichita, KS off of highway 42, near the town of Viola, KS.

 Video courtesy of: EndlessWeather

Shot this video with a GoPro Hero3 Black and a Midland XTC-300 this weekend always wanted to make a full life cycle time-lapse video of a Tornado. Thought I had it in Bowdle then lost the SD card. The time to the first Tornado is about 30 minutes time lapsed.