Daily Archives: 27 April, 2012

Tornado watch until 9 p.m. for much of eastern Kansas – including Wichita

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for 51 counties in central and eastern Kansas until 9 p.m.

The watch area includes the cities of Wichita, Salina, Topeka and McPherson. As the dry line continues to move east, however, expect counties to be trimmed from the watch area.

Wichita already appears to have escaped severe weather from this storm system.

Map showing today’s storm threat

Here’s a map produced by the National Weather Service depicting today’s storm threat.

Tornadoes, baseball-sized hail possible in Wichita area early this afternoon

Wichita residents should pay close attention to weather conditions this afternoon, forecasters say.

Isolated thunderstorms with small hail are possible this morning, but the severe weather threat for Wichita will be highest between noon and 4 p.m. Storms could bring baseball-sized hail and even a few tornadoes to south-central Kansas.

“You just need to watch” the weather this afternoon, said Jerilyn Billings, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita.

The atmospheric set-up doesn’t resemble April 14, when a widespread outbreak brought dozens of tornadoes to Kansas – including one that hit Oaklawn and southeast Wichita – but Billings said strong storms are still possible.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., has posted a moderate threat for severe weather in eastern Kansas today. Wichita is on the southwest edge of the moderate zone.

The SPC warns that tornadoes – possibly strong ones – could well develop from discrete thunderstorms that develop along the dry line pushing west across Kansas.

Billings said the dry line is showing signs of moving more slowly than forecasters had initially anticipated. That will bring the likelihood of severe weather closer to Wichita because it could be in or near the metro area when storms begin to fire.

Wichita weather: A few morning showers possible, and strong storms may strike tonight

Friday might be frightful for portions of southern and southeastern Kansas as strong storms are possible in the region.

Some could be packing hail the size of tennis balls and baseballs, the National Weather Service warns, and tornadoes are possible as well. The area most under threat for these storms will be along and east of I-135 – with the chances for severe weather greater east of Wichita.

The atmospheric set-up isn’t anything like it was on April 14, meteorologist Kevin Darmofal said, so residents should not fear a widespread outbreak.

Highs today are expected to reach the upper 70s in Wichita, with south-southeast winds in the teens and gusting to nearly 30 miles an hour.

Storms that threaten the Wichita area are most likely early in the afternoon to early evening, Darmofal said. Skies should begin to clear overnight, when lows slide to the low 50s.

Saturday should be mostly sunny, with highs of about 70. Then rain chances return Saturday night and persist for the next several days, forecasters say.

For more information on current conditions, go to our weather page.