Finger on the Weather

Nearly a double dose of rain for Wichita so far in 2017

A truck makes its way down west Douglas as heavy rains caused flooding on the streets of Wichita in July 2016.
A truck makes its way down west Douglas as heavy rains caused flooding on the streets of Wichita in July 2016. The Wichita Eagle

Remember when folks in the Wichita area were fretting that 2017 was going to be hot and dry?

It wasn’t that long ago – early March – but a shift in the weather pattern opened the door to a very wet four weeks.

More than 9 inches of rain have fallen in Wichita since March 24, according to the National Weather Service. That hoisted the rainfall total in 2017 to 12.73 inches, which is 6.23 inches above normal for this time of year – or nearly double the average.

“We’re starting off pretty darn wet” in 2017, weather service meteorologist Jim Caruso said.

April has seen 5.61 inches of rain in Wichita, nearly 4 inches above normal for the month. While the next few days are expected to be dry, more chances for showers and thunderstorms return by midweek and will persist into the weekend.

The Storm Prediction Center is cautioning that some storms in southern Kansas late in the week could be severe. Wichita is included in the early projections for the threatened area.

An outlook for Friday warns that “a higher-end severe weather event will be possible with supercells and a potential for tornadoes, large hail and wind damage” for much of Oklahoma and the eastern two-thirds of Kansas.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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