Daily Archives: 31 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.