News Columns & Blogs

Wichita's never had a winter like this

For the first time in its history, Wichita is about to go through a winter where the temperature never touched 60.

That’s never happened, according to National Weather Service temperature records dating back to 1888. The agency’s “meteorological winter” stretches from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, and the thermometer has reached 60 at least once during that period for the past 122 years.

But not this year.

Wichita came close once, hitting 59 on Jan. 22. But the city hasn’t even hit 50 very often this winter: only 12 times since Dec. 1.

The winters of 1928-29 and 1974-75 were also persistently cold, hitting 60 just once – in December. And the winter of 1992-93 had one 60 degree day – in February.

But most Wichita winters include warm spells that offer residents an interlude from the cold. It’s what makes the season more tolerable, longtime residents will tell you.

This winter hasn’t had a single 60, and the forecast for the rest of February suggests the mercury won’t climb near that in Wichita.

There haven’t been many 50s this winter: 12 out of 85, or less than 15%.

No wonder so many folks are aching for spring.