Monthly Archives: October 2013

Heavy rains near Muddy Creek set stage for school bus to be swept off crossing

Nowhere in the Wichita metropolitan area did it rain more in the 24 hours leading up to dawn on Halloween morning than in southwest Butler County and northwest Cowley County.

That set the stage for runoff to swell Muddy Creek, with rushing waters covering a low-water crossing just south of Southwest 190th, northeast of Douglass. The rapidly moving waters swept a school bus into the creek at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Remarkably, everyone aboard the bus survived.

This rainfall map produced by the National Weather Service illustrates that the most rain fell in the area where the bus was swept into the creek.

The spring-like storm setup was ideal for significant rainfall to occur, said Jerilyn Billings, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita.

A cold front moving through the area had abundant moisture in the atmosphere to work with, she said.

“It was a very efficient rain producer,” Billings said. “It was going to dump a lot of rain.”

It did precisely that – and not in just one pass through the area. Multiple periods of heavy rain hoisted accumulation totals in a widespread area.

A wet Halloween for Wichita

This is a Halloween that will please a wide range of folks in the Wichita area.

Farmers. Ranchers. Ghosts. Goblins. Witches. Super heroes. And all those characters from “Breaking Bad.”

Multiple rounds of showers brought a total of .66 of an inch to Wichita since midnight, according to the National Weather Service. That’s well above the average rainfall of .07 for October 31, but far below the rainiest Halloween on record.

That would be the 5.79 inches that fell in 1998, as part of the infamous Halloween Flood.

The witches and other costumed characters will delight in the dry weather for Trick-or-Treating later today.

Rainy commute adds to overnight precipitation

Sporadic bouts of heavy rain are soaking the morning commute in the Wichita metropolitan area.

As of 7 a.m., more than half an inch of rain – .57 of an inch, to be precise – had been recorded in west Wichita at the official recording site next to Mid-Continent Airport since midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Added to the .17 that fell on Wednesday, that brings the total to .74. These fresh rounds of rain will increase that total, however.

Wichita weather: Showers early in the day before skies begin to clear

Expect a wet start to Thursday in the Wichita metropolitan area before skies finally begin to clear later in the day, forecasters say.

Highs are expected to reach the low 60s, with showers and thunderstorms likely until early afternoon. Northerly winds will gust to nearly 30 miles an hour at times.

Overnight lows will drop all the way to the low 40s under partly cloudy skies, forecasters say. Winds will shift to the west and gust above the teens.

Friday should offer sunshine and highs in the mid-60s, forecasters say, with gusty northerly winds flirting with 30 miles an hour at times.

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

Flood watch for areas east of Wichita

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for portions of the Wichita metropolitan area and southeast Kansas until 10 a.m. Thursday.

Butler and Cowley counties are included in the watch, but Sedgwick is not.

Allen, Chautauqua, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties are also in the watch area. Rounds of heavy rain are expected to bring 1 to 2 inches of rain to an area that received 1 to 3 inches on Tuesday night.

Low-land rural and street flooding is possible, and localized flash flooding can’t be ruled out.

Severe thunderstorm warning for areas just west of Wichita

The National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for portions of Sedgwick, Reno and Kingman counties until 2:45 p.m.

At 1:53 p.m., a severe thunderstorm was located near Cheney and moving northeast at 45 miles an hour. Hail the size of half-dollars is the primary threat with this storm. The warning covers northeast Kingman County, southeast Reno County and western Sedgwick County.

The storm is expected to be near Goddard at 2:10 p.m. and Colwich and Andale by about 2:15 p.m.

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

Wichita weather: More rain on the way

It’ll be a rainy Wednesday in the Wichita metropolitan area, forecasters say – and the rain could be heavy at times.

Highs are likely to reach the low 70s, with gusty south winds. Steady breezes will be in the 20s, with gusts touching 30 miles an hour. The heaviest rain is expected to fall along and east of the Kansas Turnpike, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain will continue into the early morning hours of Thursday, forecasters say, with lows falling to the low 50s. Winds will become variable, easing to the teens.

Thursday should see skies clear early in the day, forecasters say, with highs in the mid-60s. Winds behind the front will turn to the north, gusting to more than 25 miles an hour.

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

A rainy fall night

Heavy rain fell in portions of southern and south-central Kansas early Tuesday morning, as this precipitation map put together by the National Weather Service shows. More rain is possible in the area early Wednesday morning.

Officially, Wichita recorded 1.20 inches.

A hearty overnight rain for Wichita

An early morning thunderstorm dumped more than an inch of rain on Wichita and the surrounding area.

The official rainfall total for Wichita was 1.20 inches, said Paul Howerton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Reports have not yet trickled in from the region, but expect some totals that will make farmers, ranchers and landscapers smile.

Through Monday, just 1.05 inches of rain had fallen in Wichita this month. That was more than 1.5 inches below normal.

More rain is possible again late tonight and early Wednesday morning.

Wichita weather: A rainy day

Expect showers and thunderstorms off and on throughout the day and into the evening in the Wichita metropolitan area, forecasters say.

Highs should reach the low 70s, with south-southwest winds gusting above 20 miles an hour at times. More showers are possible in the overnight hours Wednesday morning, when lows are projected to dip only to the upper 50s.

Wednesday could see more rain early in the day and then again late at night, forecasters say. Highs will again be in the low 70s. South winds will be in the teens, with gusts approaching 25 miles an hour.

More rain is possible again on Thursday, forecasters say.

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