Hurricane remnants bringing heavy rain to parts of Kansas

Rainfall forecast for the next seven days
Rainfall forecast for the next seven days National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

What’s left of Hurricane Newton is expected to bring torrential rains to central and eastern Kansas on Friday — including the Wichita metro area.

“There are a lot of factors coming together for some very intense rainfall rates,” said Andy Kleinsasser, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

The heavy rain was expected to occur in spots late Thursday night and early Friday, he said, and to redevelop on Friday afternoon and evening.

The remnants of Newton have been drawn from the Pacific into the nation’s heartland, where it will interact with a strong low-pressure system to produce prodigious rains.

“That front is going to be plowing into that really tropical air mass,” Kleinsasser said.

The result could easily be waves of heavy rain that trigger localized flooding, forecasters said.

The heaviest rain in the Wichita area appears most likely on Friday night, “with lots of lightning,” said Brad Ketcham, another meteorologist with the local weather service branch. “That could affect some local football games.”

Where the low collides with the Newton remnants will “play a big part” in determining where the heaviest rain falls, AccuWeather Senior Vice President Mike Smith said.

More than 5 inches of rain fell Wednesday night and Thursday in the Flint Hills, Kleinsasser said, and another soaker could exacerbate flooding concerns. About 3 inches fell near the city of Newton.

“We’re trying to figure out where they merge,” he said of the low and the hurricane remnants. “That is going to play a big part in determining who gets how much rain.”

Higher amounts can be expected where storms develop and “train” over the same area, Kleinsasser said — when one storm after another moves over the same geographic location.

The strongest storms Friday could bring small hail, winds of up to 70 miles an hour and torrential rains.

Once the storms end late Friday night, Kleinsasser said, the Wichita area can expect a dry spell that will last until early next week.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger