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Wichita wind: Plenty of sunshine – and wind

Wichita can expect a few clouds but no shortage of wind today, forecasters say.

Highs will be in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies, with northwest winds in the teens. Gusts could approach 30 miles an hour.

Lows tonight will slide to the low 30s, forecasters say, with light and variable winds. Tuesday will mirror Monday, with highs near 60 under partly cloudy skies. Winds will be in the teens, with gusts reaching the mid-20s.

Cooler temperatures arrive in the metropolitan area Wednesday and will stretch through the weekend, forecasters say.

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

Blizzard conditions strike portions of Colorado and northern Kansas; records tied or broken in Nebraska

Portions of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado hit with yet another strong snow storm over the weekend.

Blizzard conditions closed a stretch of I-70 in Colorado and created white-out conditions in portions of northern Kansas early Sunday afternoon. Here are maps showing snowfall totals around Kansas, along with photos shared by residents.

Taken by Leah Garman in Burr Oak, which is in Jewell County. Courtesy National Weather Service.

Hastings, Neb., set a snowfall record for March 10 of 5.3 inches, and Grand Island tied its snowfall record of 3.5 inches. Portions of central Kansas recorded 3 inches, and northern counties near the Nebraska border recorded higher amounts.

Snow in Smith Center. Photo taken by Bob Levine, courtesy of the National Weather Service.

State emergency management officials to host two Twitter chats Friday

The Kansas Department of Emergency Management will host two live chats on Twitter Friday about severe weather.

The chats will be at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., said Jane Welch, a spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s department. Twitter users can go online and look for @KansasEmergency or use their smartphone to join a dialogue about severe weather and what the public can do to be prepared.

The chats will last for one hour apiece.

Severe weather safety classes in Butler County

Butler County Emergency Management will be presenting severe weather safety classes at various locations around the county over the coming weeks.

The first is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Andover at the Andover Police Department’s training room, 909 N. Andover Road.

Other classes are listed below:

March 9, 10 a.m. El Dorado Civic Center (Annual Public Spotter class taught by Chance Hayes with the National Weather Service)
El Dorado, Kansas
201 E. Central, El Dorado, KS

March 11, 7 p.m. Rose Hill Fire Department Class
Rose Hill Fire Station – Training Room
911 N. Rose Hill Rd, Rose Hill

March 14, 6:30 p.m. Vintage Place of El Dorado
1650 E 12th, El Dorado

March 18, 7 p.m. Cassoday Fire Department Class
Cassoday Community Building
133 S. Washington, Cassoday

March 20, 7 p.m. Whitewater River Consolidated Fire District Class
Whitewater Fire Station, Whitewater

April 4, 6:30 p.m. Potwin Fire Department Class
Potwin Community Building

Strother Field storm spotter training talk rescheduled

The National Weather Service in Wichita has rescheduled its Storm Fury on the Plains presentation in Cowley County for March 16.

The presentation, which provides severe weather safety information as well as tips on what to watch for in threatening weather situations, will be at 10 a.m. at the Central Cinema Theaters near Strother Field.

Severe Weather Safety Class postponed in Bentley

Sedgwick County Emergency Management has postponed tonight’s scheduled Severe Weather Safety class in Bentley.

The class has been pushed back to March 26. The class will be at 6:30 p.m. in Bentley’s city building.

Wednesday’s class at Eastborough City Hall is expected to go forward as scheduled, said Cody Charvat, training and exercise officer for the emergency management office.

Weather satellites can detect distress signals, too

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s seven weather satellites don’t just collect images and data valuable for forecasting weather.

They also carry instruments that can detect distress signals from emergency beacons carried by downed pilots, shipwrecked boaters and stranded hikers. The satellites, which are part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System, can pinpoint the distress signal’s location to within 100 yards, said Chris O’Connors, program manager for NOAA SARSAT, in a prepared statement.

More than 250 people were rescued in 2012: 182 from the water, 22 from aviation incidents and 59 from land events. Alaska had the most rescues with 45. There were 38 in North Carolina and 25 in Florida.

Another 14 people were rescued from the tall ship HMS Bounty when it was caught in waves more than 200 miles off the North Carolina coast.

Since the program was started in 1982, Cospas-Sarsat has been credited with supporting more than 30,000 rescues worldwide, including 6,999 in the United States and its surrounding waters.

Wichita weather: Windy and unseasonably warm

The October 80s continue for the Wichita area today – and the gusty south winds return for an encore as well.

Highs should reach the low to mid-80s for each of the next few days in the metropolitan area, forecasters say. Skies should be mostly sunny today, with south winds reaching 25 miles an hour in gusts.

Overnight lows will only drop to the upper 60s – which is only a few degrees cooler than the typical highs this time of year.

Tuesday is likely to be even warmer than today, forecasters say, with partly cloudy skies and more gusty south winds. Temperatures should stay at or above normal for most of the week until a cold front sends temperatures plunging on Friday.

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

As storms approached, she jumped into a freezer

Police say a Tulsa woman missing since Saturday has been found alive in a deep freezer, where she apparently hid during severe storms over the weekend, the Associated Press reported.

Tulsa police officer Jillian Roberson said the 59-year-old woman was found Wednesday morning after worried relatives went to the woman’s apartment complex in search of her. She was transported with frostbite on her legs to a Tulsa hospital, where she is listed in fair condition.

Authorities believe the woman climbed into the freezer to seek shelter during last week’s round of severe storms that hit the Tulsa area, but couldn’t get out once the storms had passed, Roberson said.

Authorities have ruled out foul play.

Most 100s in back-to-back years? That would be now

While 2012 trails last year’s record-setting total of triple-digit temperatures by some distance, the two years combined have already broken the mark for most 100s in back-to-back summers.

The 79 100s of 2011 and 2012 surpasses the old mark of 72 100s set in 1936 and 1937, according to data provided by AccuWeather. Much of that total comes from the 53 100s in 2011.

Expect the 2012 total to climb quickly this week, but if AccuWeather’s long-range forecast for August proves accurate there will be no assault on the record for most 100s in a summer.