Category Archives: Wind

A kitchen sink kind of weather day for Wichita

The “current conditions” report for the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service listed “Light Rain, Snow, Fog/Mist and Windy.”

That’s about five different kinds of weather at once. It’s as if Thursday wasn’t sure what it wanted to be, so it’s being many different things at once.

Oh, and sunshine made a cameo appearance as the morning reached its final furlong.

High wind warning in effect for Wichita area this morning

A high wind warning is in effect for portions of the Wichita metropolitan area until 11 a.m. today.

Sedgwick, Sumner, Harvey, Saline and McPherson counties are included in the warning area, with winds of 50 miles an hour or more expected. Wichita has already seen its high temperature for the day, National Weather Service meteorologist Vanessa Pearce said. That was 60 shortly before 4:30 a.m.

The temperature had fallen to 41 in little more than three hours, and snow is possible in the area later this morning.

“It’s possible we could get a little bit” of accumulation, Pearce said, “but the main thing will be the wind.”

Those winds are knocking power lines down around Wichita, according to a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor. Downed power lines were blocking three lanes of traffic at Harry and Edgemoor, and power outages were reported in north Wichita as well.

The emergency communications center was relying on a generator for power after electricity was knocked out there, a dispatch supervisor said. Westar Energy reported about 4,000 customers in Sedgwick County were without electricity shortly after 8 a.m.

Winds will ease later today, however, and Friday could still see highs top 60.

Bitter cold arrives tonight

A robust arctic front will bring bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills to Kansas tonight and tomorrow.

Here’s a graphic produced by the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service:

WindChills012314

A wind chill advisory is in effect from midnight tonight until 11 a.m. Thursday for more than 90 counties in Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area. Lows will dip close to or below 0 in the region by dawn Thursday, said Suzanne Fortin, meteorologist in charge of the branch. Wind chills will be as low as -15 in Wichita and colder north of the metropolitan area.

“It’s going to be a really cold early start (to the day) and then not warming up too much,” Fortin said.

Highs will top out in the upper teens in Wichita. Temperatures will slide back into the single digits early Friday morning, but Fortin said a wind shift to the south will allow Friday’s highs to recover into the 30s.

Blinding dust kills 3 in 11-vehicle collision in northwest Kansas

Three people died in an 11-vehicle collision prompted by zero visibility created by blowing dust Thursday afternoon in northwest Kansas, authorities said.

The chain-reaction crash occurred at about 2 p.m. on U.S. 83 two miles west of Rexford, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. That’s about 20 miles northeast of Colby and north of I-70.

Six semi-trailer trucks and five passenger vehicles were involved in the collision, the highway patrol reported. Killed were Leonard Breeden, 51, of Colby; James Perrott, 57, of Perryton, Texas; and Jerold Lamb, 66, of Florissant, Colo.

Six other people were transported to Citizens Medical Center in Colby for evaluation or treatment of injuries, according to the highway patrol.

Winds of 59 miles an hour were clocked at Colby an hour before the collision, said Randy Bowers, a meteorologist with the Goodland branch of the National Weather Service. Winds of 60 miles an hour were recorded in McCook, Neb., about 60 miles to the north.

“The winds were still pretty strong – I’d say 50 to 60 miles an hour – about the time that accident occurred,” Bowers said.

It was a windy day in Kansas on Sunday

Some impressive wind speeds were logged around the Sunflower State on Sunday.

A reporting station 7 miles southwest of Westfall in Lincoln County reported 57 miles an hour, according to the National Weather Service.

The Russell Airport reported 56 miles an hour and the Great Bend Airport in Barton County registered 53.

Other notable winds include:
Hutchinson Airport: 52
Salina Airport: 51
Wichita: 47
Rural Harper County 46
Near Matfield Green in Chase County: 42
Northeast of El Dorado in Butler County: 40

Storms deliver triple digit winds, hail nearly 5 inches in diameter, street flooding

As sunrise brings fresh light to the aftermath of strong storms in southern Kansas from Tuesday night, authorities are beginning to assess the toll.

Hail as large as baseballs was reported in east Hutchinson, according to Reno County Emergency Management. Winds estimated as high as 100 miles an hour were reported in southern Reno County near Pretty Prairie. The town itself was hit hard by hail and strong winds, knocking down trees and blocking streets.

“Please Please Please stay away from Pretty Prairie for now. They are not letting people into town at this time,” a post on Reno County Emergency Management’s Facebook page implored.

A hail stone measuring 4.75 inches in diameter fell near Yoder in eastern Reno County and hail as large as tennis balls was also reported.

More heavy rain strong winds struck Argonia in Sumner County Tuesday night, which was still picking up the pieces from Monday night’s microburst storm that ripped portions of the roof off the high school and elementary school.

Officially, Wichita recorded 1.02 inches of rain, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Schminke. But heavier amounts were reported elsewhere in the city – including an inch of rain falling in just a half-hour at Central and Ridge Road in west Wichita.

Substantial rain over each of the past two days in the Cheney Lake watershed area is likely to boost water levels at the lake. With the ground already saturated, runoff into the lake – which until recently was Wichita’s primary water source – should be considerable.

Strong storms may pass through Wichita area tonight

Strong storms – packing winds that could approach the 90-mile-an-hour gales in last month’s damaging storm – are possible overnight in the Wichita metropolitan area, according to the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

“We could see that again overnight,” admits Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service, “but I’m not too fired up about it.”

The winds in late June occurred as a thunderstorm collapsed, sending air rushing toward the ground and then spreading outward. It’s possible a similar scenario could play out overnight, Hayes said, but he’s only got a 30 percent chance in the forecast for now.

“If storms develop, the potential is there,” he said.

Wind advisory for much of Monday

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday for 14 counties in southern and central Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area.

Winds are expected to increase to between 30 and 40 miles an hour this afternoon, with even stronger winds likely in central Kansas.

“Driving will be difficult on east-west oriented highways, most notably I-70 and Highway 400,” a statement issued by the weather service reads.

Counties included in the advisory are Russell, Lincoln, Barton, Ellsworth, Saline, Rice, McPherson, Marion, Reno, Harvey, Kingman, Sedgwick, Harper and Sumner.

Severe thunderstorm watch for Wichita and central Kansas until 5 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 5 a.m. Wednesday for 35 counties in central and eastern Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area. Counties included in the warning:

BARBER BARTON BUTLER
CHASE CLARK COMANCHE
COWLEY DICKINSON EDWARDS
ELLIS ELLSWORTH FORD
GEARY HARPER HARVEY
HODGEMAN KINGMAN KIOWA
LINCOLN MARION MCPHERSON
MORRIS NESS OTTAWA
PAWNEE PRATT RENO
RICE RUSH RUSSELL
SALINE SEDGWICK STAFFORD
SUMNER TREGO

The primary hazards are locally heavy rainfall and damaging winds of up to 70 miles an hour.

Today’s severe weather threat in Kansas

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman has issued a slight risk for severe weather in much of central Kansas – including the Wichita area -as well as portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri.

The tornado threat is minimal, according to an SPC outlook, but large hail and strong winds are possible.

Residents should monitor forecasts and conditions and be prepared to seek appropriate shelter if and when strong storms threaten. The National Weather Service in Wichita is projecting the storms to reach the Wichita area after 7 p.m.