Hail, possible tornadoes headed for a swath of central Kansas

A roughly 125-mile wide swath of Kansas is expected to see severe weather Saturday afternoon and night, including hail and possibly tornadoes.

The storm, caused by a cold front from the northwest hitting southern air from tropical depression Imelda, is expected to be centered near Salina and slice upward from west to east. Hail is expected in the afternoon and heavier rains in the evening, said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Schminke.

“The greatest concern, the greatest severe weather concern, would be heavy rain that would increase the flood and flash flood potential,” Schminke said.

Schminke said Butler and Cowley counties were in the flash flood watch. However, that could change throughout the day. Southeast Kansas is expected to stay in the flash flood watch area.

In south central Kansas, Wichita has a 30 percent chance of rain throughout the day that will spike to 60 percent around midnight. The chance of hail is more likely in the afternoon, Schminke said, and diminishes into the evening.

Schminke said Wichita could see a quarter to half-dollar sized hail. Areas in the center of the storm band — including Dodge City, Great Bend, Salina and Manhattan — could have golf-ball-sized hail.

Those areas could see winds reach 60 to 70 mph with chances of tornadoes. Wichita, he said, could see winds from 50 mph to 60 mph.

The slow-moving front should leave rainy weather through Sunday morning and into the early afternoon, he said.