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Eugene W. McCaul Jr.
Dennis E. Buechler
Stephen Hodanish
, and
Steven J. Goodman


The visual, radar, and lightning characteristics of a severe thunderstorm that spawned a large F3 tornado near Almena, Kansas, on 3 June 1999 are documented. The storm is interesting in that it made a transition from a low-precipitation to classic supercell then back to low-precipitation supercell again prior to dissipation after sunset. The storm remarkably produced only 17 cloud-to-ground lightning flashes during its 4.5-h lifetime, despite vertically integrated liquid (VIL) values reaching 95 kg m−2, reflectivities of 50 dBZ or greater at altitudes of 14 km, and baseball-size hail at the surface. In contrast, total lightning rates inferred from a portable lightning detector during the large tornado were very high, approximately 100 per minute, as expected for a storm of this size and intensity.

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