Indian summer is in full flower around the Wichita area — and forecasts suggest it plans to stick around a while. While there is no formal definition of what qualifies as an Indian summer, it's generally considered to be any period of temperatures in the 70s — or at least well above average — after the first freeze of autumn.
Wichita spent the first half of the week in the 60s and topped 70 on Thursday. Still more 70s are anticipated through the weekend.
A cool front will bring a chance of showers and cooler temperatures early next week, said Dick Elder, meteorologist-in-charge of the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.
"It's going to get us a little toward normal" temperatures, "but still pretty darn nice for November, that's for sure," Elder said.
Normal highs in early November drop below 60 in the Wichita area, and forecasts suggest temperatures will linger in the 60s for the next 10 days or so, Elder said.
"I don't see any big changes" in the weather pattern through mid-November, he said.
Appropriately for an Indian summer, the warm, dry weather is the result of a pattern more typically seen in July and August, Elder said.
A dome of high pressure has settled over Texas and spread north on the east side of the Rockies all the way up into Canada. That's deflecting arctic air masses away from the Great Plains.
Not that anyone is complaining — particularly farmers who have been struggling to harvest fall crops from soggy fields.
"I don't think we're making farmers too upset" with the forecasts for the next several days, Elder said.