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April 16, 2013

Severe weather threatens region; Wichita at slight risk, according to Storm Prediction Center

Severe weather looms as a genuine threat in the southern Great Plains on Wednesday, forecasters say.

Severe weather looms as a genuine threat in the southern Great Plains on Wednesday, forecasters say.

While the greatest threat for tornadoes and large hail appears to be in northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas, “we can’t totally close the door for Wichita,” said Kevin Darmofal, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita.

The Storm Prediction Center has posted a moderate risk for severe weather stretching northeast from northern Texas through the heart of Oklahoma and into far southeast Kansas. Conditions appear favorable for “all severe hazards,” an SPC statement reports. That will include tornadoes, large hail and strong thunderstorms.

Wichita and much of central Kansas is in a slight risk for severe weather on Wednesday, according to the SPC.

“It’s all going to hinge on how far north the warm front comes,” Darmofal said.

The farther north the warm air injects into the “disturbingly cold” air now camped over Kansas, he said, the closer the severe weather threat will get to Wichita.

Tuesday flirted with a record-low high temperature for Wichita, Darmofal said, and that mark could fall on Thursday. A wintry mix of precipitation is possible on the back end of this storm, he said.

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