Finger on the Weather

Hurricane Harvey’s remnants unlikely to reach Kansas

Though remnants of hurricanes that come ashore in the Gulf of Mexico have been known to impact Kansas from time to time, the Sunflower State is likely to be spared this time around, forecasters say.

Hurricane Harvey is poised to become the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in 12 years, according to the National Hurricane Center. More than 20 inches of rain could fall in parts of Texas, weather officials say.

Harvey is projected to go ashore late Friday night or early Saturday as a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of about 115 miles an hour.

Upper level winds typically push remnants of Gulf hurricanes east of Kansas before they get this far north, National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jakub said. Forecast models suggest that will happen with Harvey as well.

“Something would have to drastically change for it to get up here,” Jakub said. “If anyone could get it (locally), maybe southeast Kansas.”

But even that appears unlikely, Jakub said.

Kansas was deluged by the remnants of a hurricane less than a year ago, but Hurricane Newton came ashore from the Pacific Ocean, not the Gulf of Mexico. That’s the most common track for hurricane rains to reach the Sunflower State, carried inland by the jet stream south of the Rockies.

Newton triggered flooding south of Wichita last September, including significant flooding in Mulvane for the second time in a matter of weeks.

More than nine inches of rain fell near Clearwater, while more than eight inches fell near Goddard and Mulvane. South Wichita logged 7.55 inches of rain in 24 hours.

No matter what happens this coming weekend, Jakub said, “south Texas is going to get the brunt of this.”

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger