Finger on the Weather

Officials: Days of rain could trigger flooding in Kansas

The dog days of August are going to be soggy in the Sunflower State.

Forecasters say southern Kansas could see several inches of rain over the next few days, with isolated areas potentially seeing 6 inches of precipitation or more.

“Somewhere could get that,” National Weather Service meteorologist Robb Lawson said. “There’s potential for that,” particularly if storms form over an area and camp there for an extended period.

The Weather Prediction Center is projecting more than 3 inches in the Wichita metropolitan area through Saturday, with more than 4 inches in northern Oklahoma. Showers and thunderstorms were already soaking central Kansas on Wednesday.

“While a couple severe storms producing large hail and downburst winds can`t be ruled out, the bigger threat looks to be heavy rain and potential flooding” in southern Kansas on Thursday night, a hazardous weather outlook issued by the weather service said.

Portions of southeast Kansas could be particularly vulnerable to flooding, Lawson said, after heavy rains fell there over the weekend. Cowley, Sumner, Chatauqua and Allen counties all logged 4 to 5 inches of rain.

“They should be pretty wet down there,” Lawson said.

AccuWeather vice president Mike Smith warned of the potential for 6 inches of rain in portions of Kansas and Oklahoma over the next several days, adding that he’s concerned about the prospect of flooding.

“There will be multiple periods of heavy rain over the next nine days,” Smith said in an e-mail about what’s expected in the upcoming weather.

Much of Kansas has been dry lately, Lawson said, so a few inches of rain will be welcome. The challenges will arise if the rains concentrate on already saturated areas.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger