Author: Mary Knapp

When we think of Christmas, most people have visions of cold, snowy weather. December 25, 2016 proved to be an exception, particularly in southwest KS, where an unprecedented six tornadoes were observed. The early morning started with a very high amount of surface moisture as dew point temperatures rose to around 60 degrees. This is unheard of for late December in southwest Kansas. A line of thunderstorms marched across the area during the mid-morning hours and along the leading edge there were brief spin-ups. Five of these tornadoes caused minor damage. Behind the front, cold air and snow were the feature. Temperatures that day ranged from a high of 71 °F at Columbus to a low of 10 °F at Wallace.

Figure 1. Tornado (WDL archive)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library