Baseball-size hail fell Thursday afternoon in Ellis County with winds up to 77 mph, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Caruso.
Tornado sirens were sounded in Ellis County, but so far, there have been no verified reports of any tornadoes touching the ground.
“The storm had some big hail, and it is still going,” he said.
Central Kansans should keep an eye on the skies and stay in touch with how the storms are progressing, Caruso said.
“We are thinking the storms in central Kansas will merge into something more linear in time and the threat will transition for more damaging wind and hail more quarter to golf ball in size.”
If the storms do become more linear in their southeasterly march across the state, damaging winds between 70 to 80 mph could manifest.
The storms may reach the Hutchinson and Wichita areas between 6:30 and 9 p.m.
“Anybody that is going to be outdoors needs to have shelter in mind,” he said. “You don’t want to be caught out in this stuff. … That storm over Ellis County is a monster.”
Wichita State University put out this statement regarding the weather: “The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) has indicated potential for hail and high winds in the Wichita area this evening. The Wichita State campus community is encouraged to keep an eye on the weather and make plans accordingly.
“WSU will remain open for the remainder of the afternoon and evening, but scheduled classes and events are subject to cancellation if the instructor or organizer so chooses. If you have questions, contact your instructor or event organizer. For a list of shelters on the main Wichita State campus, go to http://bit.ly/WSUshelter.”