First freeze might come early: tonight

Put a pot of chili on the stove and bring in any plants you want to save from frost.

Temperatures could dip into the low 30s tonight in the Wichita area, forecasters say. Whether plants freeze may depend on the cloud cover.

"This could be our first freeze of the season," said Rob Cox, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "Certainly, central Kansas has the best shot at seeing a freeze."

Traditionally, Wichitans experience the first killing freeze by Oct. 28.

"If there is a cloud cover it will probably get close'' to freezing, said Kevin Darmofal, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. "The city may be spared, but the outlying areas — to the north and in western Kansas — will get a hard freeze."

A Canadian cold front expected to slip into Kansas this morning is the culprit, bringing temperatures at least 25 to 30 degrees cooler than normal this time of October, Darmofal said. The normal high in Wichita for this weekend is 72.

The same front brought snow and temperatures in the 20s to eastern Nebraska on Friday.

"The main show will be Saturday morning, when a strong cold front moves through," Cox said. "The wind will begin to turn out of the north at speeds of 15 to 25 miles per hour."

Although today's temperatures may start in the 40s, Cox said, they are expected to drop steadily through the day.

Tonight, cold drizzle could make roads icy around Salina and to the west, Darmofal said.

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