Monthly Archives: September 2012

Dense fog drops visibility to near zero for morning commute in Wichita

The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory until 9 a.m. for 12 counties in southern Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area.

Visibility was generally a quarter-mile or less, with some spots down to near zero, meteorologists said. A Sedgwick County dispatcher said only one accident had been reported by 7:20 a.m., but that changed within minutes as the morning commute grew in intensity.

Recent rains and little to no wind set the stage for the fog to develop. Fog could again be an issue late tonight and early Saturday, forecasters say.

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

Wichita weather: Lingering chances for showers

Chances for showers will dwindle but linger in the Wichita area today, forecasters say.

Highs should reach the upper 70s under mostly cloudy skies, with light winds out of the east-northeast. Skies are expected to clear gradually overnight, when lows dip into the mid-50s, and the weekend should be mostly sunny and pleasant.

Highs should be in the mid- to upper 70s, forecasters say.

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

Wichita weather: More showers and thunderstorms

Another round of showers and thunderstorms can be expected in the Wichita area today, forecasters say.

Some of the thunderstorms could be strong, though the National Weather Service indicates the strongest storms will be near the Oklahoma border.

Highs today will be in the mid-70s under mostly cloudy skies, with light winds out of the northeast. Storms are likely again tonight and into Friday, with lows staying in the low 60s.

Highs Friday will be in the mid-70s, forecasters say. Winds will be light and variable.

The weekend forecast calls for dry weather with partly cloudy skies and highs in the 70s.

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

Storms brought plenty of lightning

Bill and Pat Naylor had just settled back into bed after calming down their nervous dog when it happened.

“There was a big boom, and then it went boom again,” Pat said.

The Naylors figure the first boom was a lightning bolt striking the large cypress in their yard in northwest Wichita early Wednesday morning, and the second was the large branches hitting the ground.

“It blew both sides out of it,” Naylor said.

Valley Center storm chaser Brandon Ivey shot photos of the frequent lightning, which knocked power out at his house for a while overnight.

“I saw three separate bolts produce power flashes due to blown transformers,” Ivey said.

Westar Energy reported more than 4,000 customers were without electricity at one point during the storm.

The Naylors hope they can save their cypress, which is perhaps 30 years old. An arborist was scheduled to check the tree Wednesday afternoon.

The rain gauge at the Naylor house northwest of 13th and Tyler recorded more than 5 inches of rain, though Pat admits some of that may have been “splash” off the roof and not an accurate measure of the rainfall. But National Weather Service officials say it’s likely that more than 4 inches fell in isolated spots in the city, and reports of 3 inches were widespread.

How much rain fall last night and this morning in the Wichita area?

The National Weather Service in Wichita has produced a map showing how much rain fell where in the metropolitan area.

There have been unofficial reports of at least 4 inches, forecasters say.

Heavy rain, isolated hail hit Wichita overnight

More than 3 inches of rain has fallen in parts of northern and western Wichita overnight, spawning thousands of power outages.

Isolated hail – including one report of stones the size of golf balls – was also reported as a potent storm formed in the Wichita metropolitan area and then churned northeast toward Topeka.

“It developed right over us, really, and gave us a good bit of rain,” said Scott Smith, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita.

The northern half of the city generally received between 2 and 3 inches of rain, Smith said.

“There’s probably some isolated 4 inches,” based on what Doppler radar is indicating, he said.

An off-duty weather service meteorologist who lives in far west Wichita reported 3.08 inches. The official rainfall total at the weather service office next to Mid-Continent Airport was 1.17 inches shortly after 7 a.m., Smith said. Jabara Airport in northeast Wichita recorded 1.5 inches.

Some parts of south Wichita and the metropolitan area only received about a half-inch of rain, Smith said.

The strong late-night storms knocked out power to thousands of Westar Energy customers for a short time. More than 4,000 customers were without electricity at one stage late Tuesday night, but the number of outages was listed at 275 at about 7:30 a.m. on the utility’s web site.

The weather service received more than a half-dozen reports of hail in Wichita, Smith said. Most of it was less than an inch in diamater, though one person reported golf ball sized hail 2 miles northwest of downtown – or about 13th and Zoo Boulevard.

More rain is expected periodically in the Wichita area through Friday, Smith said, but at this point no more heavy rain is anticipated.

Wichita weather: Rain continues

The rain that began late Tuesday night should continue off and on throughout the day in the Wichita metropolitan area, forecasters say. Locally heavy rain will be possible at times in southern Kansas, according to the National Weather Service.

Highs will peak in the low 80s, with light southeast winds occasionally reaching double digits. Rain should pick up again later tonight, forecasters say, with lows in the mid-60s.

Rain – with occasional thunderstorms – is expected to continue through Thursday, forecasters say. None of the storms is likely to be severe. Highs on Thursday will be in the upper 70s.

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

How’d the Farmers Almanac do in predicting the weather for 2012?

Are you among the folks who get the Farmers Almanac for its weather forecasts? You wouldn’t be alone.

There are those who swear by the almanac’s uncanny ability to forecast the coming year’s weather accurately. But those folks might be swearing for different reasons these days. A review of the almanac’s forecast compared to what actually happened shows the Farmers Almanac whiffed mightily on 2012.

The analysis was done by Jan Null of Golden Gate Weather Services.

Wichita weather: Rainy spell arrives

Wichita looks set to receive some welcome rain over the next few days, forecasters say.

Skies will be mostly cloudy today, with highs climbing into the upper 80s. South winds will be light, occasionally reaching double digits.

Showers and thunderstorms become more likely tonight, with lows dropping into the mid-60s. Chances for rain and thunderstorms persist into Wednesday, forecasters say. Highs will be in the low 80s under mostly cloudy skies and light winds out of the south and southeast.

Chances for showers will continue into the weekend in the Wichita area.

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

Wichita weather: More sunshine, more 80s

Sunny skies and highs in the low 80s are expected in the Wichita area today, forecasters say.

There will be plenty of wind, with steady breezes out of the north-northwest in the teens and gusts of more than 25 miles an hour. Overnight lows under mostly clear skies will be in the low 50s. Winds will be light and variable.

The weekend should be sunny and cooler, forecasters say, with highs in the low 70s.

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