Daily Archives: 27 August, 2012

National Weather Service: Isaac’s remnants may bring heavy rains to Wichita this weekend

Residents of Kansas should pay attention to what Isaac does this week, a local weather official said, because the storm’s remnants could unload on the Sunflower State by this weekend.

One forecasting model has the storm pushing up into eastern Kansas, bringing potentially flooding rains to the Wichita area, said Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita. Another has the rains missing Kansas but reaching Kansas City.

“Keep an eye out,” Hayes said.

If the computer model proves accurate, he said, the remnants of Isaac should reach the Wichita area by Friday or Saturday.

AccuWeather Vice President Mike Smith is skeptical that Isaac will affect Kansas.

“Atlantic hurricanes don’t get us,” Smith said.

The jet stream routinely pushes the remnants east before they get far enough north to reach Kansas.

“Our far better chance is a hurricane that comes up in the Baja (of California) and then into Kansas,” Smith said. “That’s where we get our hurricane rains.”

Smith said updated computer models indicate Kansas won’t see rain from Isaac, and he’s convinced later models will merely reaffirm that forecast.

Kansans keeping an eye on Isaac

Wichita residents may have seen a familiar face on television over the weekend.

James Williams, spokesman for the Midway Kansas chapter of the American Red Cross, was interviewed on the Weather Channel about preparations being made for the imminent arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac in Florida.

Williams was sent to Miami last week as part of an advance public relations team to let media around the world know what the Red Cross is doing to assist those affected by the storm. He told me he’d be there for about a week. He shared this photo from Key West, where Isaac struck over the weekend.

This isn’t Williams’ first brush with a tropical storm/hurricane. He was sent to the East Coast last fall to assist the local Red Cross when Hurricane Irene struck the Northeast.

“It was an eye-opening experience that helped me prepare for the public affairs demands during and after the Wichita tornado” in April, Williams said in an e-mail response to questions.

He’s packed a smartphone with GPS, a DSLR camera, a flip cam and laptop with Skype. But he also added wet wipes, in case the water went out, and granola “if you’re stranded without a meal,” he said.

“These are incredible adventures,” Williams said. “It takes a great deal of flexibility, but from the moment you arrive they’re some of the most rewarding 14-hour days of your life.”

Local storm chaser and extreme weather photographer Jim Reed will be documenting Isaac with Dag Kittlaus, cofounder of Siri – the voice iPhone users hear when they ask for directions or assistance. They left for the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday with assistant Katelyn Pfeister.

Wichita weather: Sunshine and 90s return

After a weekend of welcome rains, sunshine and highs in the low 90s return to the Wichita area this week.

Highs today will be around 90, forecasters say, with east-northeast winds staying in the upper single digits. Overnight lows under partly cloudy skies should dip to the mid-60s.

Tuesday will offer more sunshine and highs in the low 90s, forecasters say. Winds will again be light, shifting to the east-southeast.

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