Finger on the Weather

‘Training’ storms flood Manhattan; rains coming soon to Wichita

The Wichita Eagle

Thunderstorms in Kansas are usually in a hurry.

But Monday saw something fairly uncommon in the Sunflower State: storms that fired up – and pretty much stayed right where they were.

“It just didn’t move,” Brandon Drake, a meteorologist in the Topeka branch of the National Weather Service, said of a line of storms that stretched east-northeast from Salina to Manhattan into Pottawatomie County.

The result was widespread reports of 3 to 4 inches of rain in a fairly short time, with some totals approaching 5 inches. Significant flooding occurred in Manhattan, as reflected by photos taken by Eagle outdoors writer Michael Pearce.

Even storms that moved just kept raining over the same geographic areas, a meteorological phenomenon known as “training” – a reference to storms all following the same path.

More showers and thunderstorms are likely in that region later this week, Drake said.

Wichita can expect soaking rains off and on through Sunday, said Jim Caruso, a meteorologist in the Wichita branch of the agency. There shouldn’t be any of the flooding seen in the Manhattan area, though.

“We’ll see one or two bouts of beneficial rains” this week, Caruso said, including widespread totals of up to an inch Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

If skies clear Wednesday as anticipated, Caruso said, that could lead to the kind of afternoon heating and atmospheric instability that can spawn supercell thunderstorms. While the primary threats will be hail and strong winds, he said, an isolated tornado or two is possible.

“It’s an unsettled pattern for the next week or so,” he said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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