Finger on the Weather

It hasn’t been this warm in nearly 120 years

File photo

The last time it was this warm in Wichita on Feb. 16, the nation was buzzing about the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana’s harbor the day before.

It was 1898.

It took the dawns of two new centuries before that 72 degrees of Feb. 16 was matched on Thursday.

Wichita had plenty of company in rewriting the record book Thursday.

Russell reached 78, bettering the 74 from 2011. Salina soared to 79, shattering the 74 from 1913.

Topeka climbed to 76, toppling the old mark of 74 set in 1961. Concordia peaked at 72, toppling by a degree the record set in 1913.

Meanwhile, in northwest Kansas, Goodland reached 75, tying the mark set in 2011. Hill City climbed to 79, topping the 2011 record by one degree.

An unofficial record fell in Colby, where the temperature rose to 77, toppling the old mark of 72 set in 1898. Tribune tied its record high of 72, set initially in 1961.

The springlike temperatures are expected to continue for the next several days, forecasters say, with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s anticipated for at least the next week.

Thunderstorms — another sign of spring — are possible Sunday night and Monday in the Wichita metro area.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger