March 19, 2012

Rains to soak region for a few days

Just in time for spring break, Wichita appears set for several days of rain.

Just in time for spring break, Wichita appears set for several days of rain.

Forecasters say 3 inches of rain could fall in the metropolitan area by late Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for far eastern and southeastern Kansas through Wednesday morning.

Wichita is not included in the flood watch.

“The ground isn’t completely saturated or anything yet” locally, said Alex Laugeman, a meteorology intern for the weather service in Wichita.

As a result, he said, flooding isn’t expected to be an issue in the city. Wichita has recorded about 41/2 inches so far this year, which is about average for this time of year.

Southeast Kansas could see up to 8 inches of rain by Wednesday night. Because the area’s precipitation since last April is about 72 percent of what it normally would be, state climatologist Mary Knapp said a significant rainfall “would be a very, very good start to our spring season.”

Labette County emergency management director Larry Steeby says his county is relatively dry, so “the first couple of inches will probably not be a big deal.”

Several more inches of rain on top of that might cause some initial flooding in low-lying areas and possible flash floods, he said.

Chances for showers are now expected to persist into Friday in the Wichita area, forecasters said.

Contributing: Associated Press

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