With the cold front already “right on Wichita’s doorstep” at 2 p.m., and storm initiation not expected to begin for another couple of hours, the metropolitan area looks poised to escape the worst of the severe weather expected in the region tonight, National Weather Service meteorologist Robb Lawson said.
“It’s going to be close, though,” Lawson said. “Our best guess right now is that Wichita should be on the back edge of it.”
The first storms should fire up on the northern edge of the front near Emporia, Lawson said, and gradually fill in to the south. Storms may well develop so close to Wichita that residents will be able to see them to the east. But because the front is moving east-southeast, those storms won’t threaten the city.
The storms are likely to produce heavy rain - short-term rates of up to 2 inches an hour, Lawson said - along with hail and strong winds. That’s not good news for southeast Kansas, which is already saturated from recent rains.