Weather forecasters now say there is a small chance for snow in Wichita as freezing temperatures are expected in the city this weekend.
The National Weather Service forecast for Wichita calls for “a slight chance of rain and snow” after 4 a.m. Friday. The chance of precipitation is 20 percent, with a low temperature of around 32 degrees and a northwest wind with gusts of up to 32 mph.
Friday’s high temperature is expected to be 50 degrees, and wind gusts of up to 29 mph are predicted during the day.
Overnight freezing temperatures are expected again early Saturday morning. The weather service predicts a low around 32 degrees in Wichita and a widespread frost. The high will be near 65 degrees, and it will remain breezy.
The forecast was current as of Thursday afternoon.
A hazardous weather outlook for the NWS Wichita service area said no accumulation is expected from snowfall across central Kansas. A freeze warning issued by meteorologists advises that the cold conditions may kill crops and other sensitive plants.
City of Wichita officials said in a tweet that no adverse affects are expected on city streets, but a small number of workers are prepared to work overnight if needed.
Earlier on Thursday, the weather service warned in a hazardous weather outlook of the possibility of afternoon severe weather in southeast Kansas. Thunderstorms were predicted to drop hail up to the size of ping pong balls with wind gusts blowing up to 60 mph, and forecasters said “a brief tornado cannot be ruled out in extreme southeast Kansas.”
If there were any snow accumulation on Friday, it would likely be a record for the earliest recorded autumn snowfall in the NWS Wichita service area. Weather service records show no snowfall has been recorded in October at Russell Municipal Airport, Salina Municipal Airport or Chanute Martin Johnson Airport. Wichita’s Eisenhower National Airport earliest recorded snowfall was 0.7 inches on Oct. 14, 2018.
Though it wouldn’t be the earliest fall freeze in the city’s history, the predicted 32 degrees Friday morning would break a different record. It would be the new record low temperature for that day, edging out the 34 degrees set Oct. 11, 2009.