October 22, 2012

Record high temps to be followed by weekend chill in Wichita area

Records are falling with the leaves as a warm spell pushes into late October in Wichita.

Records are falling with the leaves as a warm spell pushes into late October in Wichita.

Sunday tied the record high of 89 in Wichita and Monday broke the record for high low. More 80s are on tap for much of the week.

The unusual warmth has been a boon for folks who enjoy outdoor activities.

“We’re doing well,” said Colin O’Bryan, an assistant golf professional at MacDonald Golf Course. “We’re busier than last year.”

Runners, walkers and others can thank a persistent ridge of high pressure over the central U.S. that has kept cooler air from sliding into the area, National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Howerton said. That has set the stage for winds from the west, southwest and south.

The dry conditions make it easier for those winds to hoist temperatures quickly, Howerton said. Those warm temperatures have put golfers in a good mood.

“Oh, they sure are,” said Terry Pattillo, the pro shop clerk at Auburn Hills.

Monday’s low of 68 bettered the old mark of 66 set more than 100 years ago – in 1899. The lows are close to what normal highs should be this time of year, said Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service.

There are a few openings yet for tee times at courses around the city this week, but they’re filling up.

“We have quite a few golfers on Friday, but we always do,” Pattillo said. “Doctors are off on Friday.”

The warm spell figures to be off on Friday, too. Highs are expected to reach only the low 50s by then as a cold front barges into the metropolitan area.

The chilly weather will persist through at least the weekend, with lows dipping near freezing.

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