A hail storm moved south-southeast across portions of southwest Kansas during the late afternoon hours of 19 April 2020. This storm produced copious amounts of hail along a path of about 15 miles.
The evolution of the cu field across central Kansas can be analyzed in detail using the the GOES-East Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB. The cu field evolves from flat, liquid clouds (cyan), to a more agitated cu field with clumping clouds and enhanced vertical growth and glaciation (green; Fig 1). With convective initiation, vertical growth is rapid, and cloud tops transition to yellows and reds with cooling and continued glaciation of cloud tops. A glimpse of the hail swath (green) is seen in the wake of thunderstorms, east of Kinsley.
The sky cleared off just enough prior to sunset such that an enhanced version of the GOES-East Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB product could remotely sense the hail swath (Fig 2).
Numerous pictures of significant hail accumulation were received by NWS Dodge City on social media, some of which showing 4 to 5 inches of accumulation (Fig 3).
The hail swath stuck around through the cool evening hours, and was still apparent in GOES-East imagery the following morning (Fig 4, Fig 5).
GOES-East provides a fairly high resolution confirmation as to where exactly accumulating hail fell following passage of a thunderstorm and clearing of clouds. While MRMS provides a good estimate to where hail fell and how large it was, it doesn’t lend much detail about hail accumulation. The satellite imagery provides an observation of the hail swath, or where the more significant accumulating hail occurred. In this case, the swath diagnosed in GOES imagery matched up well with the MRMS MESH track, but the actual length of the accumulation of hail did not extend as far south into Kiowa County as what may have been suggested by MRMS MESH.
Mike Umscheid (NWS Dodge City, KS) and Bill Line (NESDIS and CIRA)