Summer’s sizzle settles in for Wichita area

08/18/2014 3:48 PM

08/18/2014 7:01 PM

The hottest stretch of the summer is unfolding in the Wichita area, with the heat index projected to top 100 all week long.

“We’ve got this upper-level ridge sitting over the area,” National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Cook said.

The showers that dropped 0.31 of an inch late Sunday night and early Monday on Wichita helped keep temperatures in the area much lower than in western Kansas, where triple digits were expected. But highs are still expected to climb into the upper 90s all week long.

“If one (day) hits 100, I wouldn’t be surprised,” Cook said.

Wichita has logged only three triple-digit days so far this year – one in early May and two in late July. The ridge of high pressure that’s shifted over the Great Plains was camped over the western U.S. much of the summer, allowing cooler Canadian air and frequent showers to slide down into Kansas.

Computer forecast models suggest the hot weather will linger through early next week before the ridge breaks down and a cold front pushes into the area, Cook said. It’s possible that this is the last heat wave of the season.

“It could be,” Cook said. “I wouldn’t hang my hat on it, though.”

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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