U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Presented at American Meteorological Society, 11th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace and the 22nd Conference on Severe Local Storms (Hyannis, MA) Oct 6, 2004.


During the late afternoon and early evening hours of 22 June 2003, thunderstorms developed from central Nebraska into north central Kansas, quickly becoming severe in an environment favorable for supercell thunderstorms. On this evening, portions of central Nebraska and north central Kansas were affected by tornadoes, destructive hail, and severe flooding.
In particular, a supercell thunderstorm moved northeastward across the community of Aurora, Nebraska, producing extremely large hail and multiple short-lived tornadoes. A record setting hailstone was ultimately discovered in Aurora, measuring 7.0 inches (17.78 cm) in diameter with an 18.75 inch (47.63 cm) circumference. This hailstone broke the previous hail size (diameter and circumference) record of the Coffeyville, Kansas hailstone of 3 September 1970.