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Storms have final fling, but fall weather forecast

Temperatures in the 60s are in the cards late this week, forecasters say

Staff writer

Strong, gusty winds and showers blew through Marion County Tuesday evening, capping days of wild weather that left cars dented by 2.5 inch hail and spun off a late season funnel cloud.

Strong winds and heavy rain are possible until late Wednesday, said Roger Martin, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Wichita.

“We could still see some flooding depending on how much rain falls,” he said.

Freaky Friday

The fireworks started with a 7 p.m. delay caused by lightning during Marion High School’s homecoming game against Inman Friday night.

State guidelines for lightning safety specify a 30-minute wait when cloud-to-ground lightning is spotted. Each strike restarts the clock for another 30 minutes.

Carl Helm, a pastor with Marion Christian Church, thought the warm evening would be “a beautiful night for football,” but official Thurston Mitchell, Wichita, couldn’t offer much hope as thunder rumbled.

“I have never had a delay like this,” he said.

By 8:30 p.m. the storms that had moved just south of the city “had quite a bit of lightning,” said Thomas Vaughn, a forecaster with the weather service. Officials postponed the game until Monday.

“From cloud flashbacks, I estimate there were well over 500 flashes during that time. That’s just a ballpark,” Vaughn said.

At 8:53 p.m. a wall cloud was spotted near Burns. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Marion County.

Jim Bob Watkins, Florence, reported seeing a wall cloud near his home, but nothing touched down.

“I have lived in Kansas all my life. It’s not scary, its always fascinating,” he said.

A little after midnight, 1.75- inch hail was reported in Peabody with reports of 2.5 inch hail coming in at 1:32 a.m.

Swampy Saturday

The parade was nearly finished at noon Saturday when the skies opened and 1 to 2 inches of rain began to pour on visitors who had turned out to celebrate Old Settlers Day.

A crowd of 150 gathered in Central Park for a picnic and concert to celebrate Marion High’s many class reunions, down from the 400 that normally attend.

“If it didn’t rain, the park would be packed,” said Alex Case, parade announces and Marion Kiwanis member.

By 1 p.m., the scant turnout led organizers to cancel all afternoon events. Leftover food from the picnic was sold during Monday night’s football game.

“I can’t remember ever canceling the event before,” Case said.

Cool weather just around the corner

A cold front will put and end to the showers and storms by Thursday, said Martin.

“By Thursday we are looking at highs dropping all the way down into the mid-to-upper 60s,” he said, “Compared to the 80s and near-90s we have had, this is going to be a pretty big drop.”

Last modified Oct. 3, 2019

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