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Cold front plunges much of Kansas into deep freeze

A map showing wind chills on Dec. 30.
A map showing wind chills on Dec. 30. Courtesy of National Weather Service

Dig out the long-johns and plan on wearing them for the next few days.

A winter air mass arrived Monday night, plunging temperatures into a deep freeze.

Highs on Tuesday and Wednesday are not expected to climb above 20 degrees.

Lows will hover around 4 to 5 degrees above zero. Wind chills will be between zero and 20 degrees below.

“It will be here for a couple of days,” said Kevin Darmofal, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wichita. “We expect to see an air mass like this in the winter, but we are not looking at any records.”

Indeed, the cold front may seem an affront to the senses. Kansans have been basking in above-normal temperatures this past month. Typically, Wichitans can expect highs to be around 41 degrees this time of year, with lows in the low 20s.

The high on Monday was 43.

But the cold front soon ended the balmy temperatures. Snow flurries began falling shortly after dark. Kingman had a half-inch of snow at 6:30 p.m. No significant amounts of snowfall were expected in the Wichita area. As much as 2 inches of snow was expected as far north as I-70.

Highs on Thursday and Friday are expected to climb back into the 30s, Darmofal said.

However, the National Weather Service issued a long-term forecast indicating a new cold front could move in by the weekend, causing lower temperatures to return, particularly if the new cold front brings chances of snow.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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