Daily Archives: 14 August, 2012

Sirens will sound around Sedgwick County as officials calibrate new warning system

Residents in Wichita and around Sedgwick County can expect to hear outdoor warning sirens periodically over the next week or so as officials calibrate new software.

The software will allow authorities to activate only those sirens in the direct path of geographic areas included in tornado warnings. The calibration ensures the new electronic monitoring system is tuned to each individual device, Sedgwick County spokeswoman Amanda Matthews said.

“All the sirens have their equipment installed,” John Crosby, deputy director of Sedgwick County Emergency Management, said in an e-mail response to questions. “This phase insures that each device responds and reports back correctly.”

Sirens may be sounded more than once during the calibration process, he said. The calibration process began last week.

There are now 147 outdoor warning sirens in Wichita and outlying areas of the county. But emergency management officials caution that the sirens are just one layer of the warning process and are intended only to warn those who are outdoors.

Residents who hear sirens and have doubts that it is only a test are encouraged to monitor their weather radios and local media outlets for more information, Matthews said.

Wichita weather: Morning showers possible, then gradual clearing

Showers and thunderstorms that moved into the Wichita metropolitan area overnight may linger through the morning hours today, forecasters say.

Chances for showers dwindle as the afternoon stretches out, and skies should then gradually clear. Highs will only be in the mid-80s, with winds out of the south in the low teens.

Skies will be partly cloudy tonight with lows in the upper 60s, forecasters say. South winds will intensify from the single digits into the teens, with gusts touching 20 miles an hour.

Wednesday looks sunny and hot, forecasters say, with highs in the upper 90s. South winds will gust to more than 25 miles an hour. But showers re-enter the forecast Wednesday night, with chances persisting into the weekend.

Much cooler temperatures arrive with those rain chances, forecasters say.

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