Weather News

Tornadoes, hail the size of tennis balls possible in Wichita, meteorologists warn

The severe storms in the Tuesday forecast are threatening Wichita and the surrounding areas with tornadoes, hail the size of tennis balls, flash flooding and damaging winds, according to the National Weather Service.

The severe weather is expected to hit parts of central, south-central and southeast Kansas starting Tuesday afternoon, with threats lasting through the evening, according to the NWS Wichita Hazardous Weather Outlook.

“Locations along and east of I-135 will have the best chance for severe weather,” the outlook says.

Any rain will add to the widespread river flooding throughout the region, meteorologists warned.

The chance for showers and thunderstorms, as of Tuesday morning, is about 30 percent after 4 p.m., Wichita meteorologists say.

These predicted storms come during an unusually wet May for Kansas.

In Wichita, this is the second-wettest May on record since 1888, the NWS said. The city has received 12.59 inches of rainfall at Wichita Eisenhower Airport, less than an inch short of 13.4 inches received in May 2008 (the wettest May on record).

This month is also the fifth-wettest month on record as of Tuesday morning, the weather service tweeted. The wettest month was June 1923, when the city received 14.43 inches of rainfall.

On Sunday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly asked President Donald Trump for an “emergency declaration amid disaster-level flooding in nearly half of the state’s counties,” the Eagle previously reported. “Emergency declarations authorize state and federal governments to assist local emergency crews with resources and personnel for response and recovery operations.”

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