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Spring finally arrives


By The Hays Daily News

By The Hays Daily News

There were no official reports yet this morning from area sheriff's offices of damage from Tuesday night's thunderstorms, but forecaster Mike Umscheid from the National Weather Service in Dodge City said he was "sure there is some typical hail damage to vehicles and such."

Severe thunderstorms made their way through the area Tuesday evening, with heavy rain hitting Hays later in the night.

"There were fairly substantial amounts of hail reported across the region," Umscheid said of the spring storms that began in the early evening and continued well after dark.

Hail as large as 1.75 inches in diameter was reported 7 miles south of Utica, and Umscheid said reports ranged from those half-dollar sized and golfball sized near Utica, Dighton and Ness City to 1-inch size near WaKeeney to pea-sized in several areas.

Rainfall amounts also varied, with more than an inch reported in Ellis and 0.54 of an inch at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center south of Hays to only a quarter-inch in Quinter.

"Rain was spotty because the storms were localized," Umscheid said. "There was a pretty tight gradient there."

Hail covered the ground in many areas, including parts of Ness County.

More storms are forecast for today. In the Hays area, rainfall could reach approximately half an inch as the system works its way through the area. The NWS is forecasting some of the storms might be severe, with large hail and high winds.