Finger on the Weather

Strong thunderstorms possible Friday evening in Wichita

While some went without protection from the morning sprinkles during their commute to work, others chose to pack an umbrella. Rain is more likely at the end of the workday when storms are expected to blossom after about 3 p.m. in central Kansas and then work their way east into the evening.
While some went without protection from the morning sprinkles during their commute to work, others chose to pack an umbrella. Rain is more likely at the end of the workday when storms are expected to blossom after about 3 p.m. in central Kansas and then work their way east into the evening. The Wichita Eagle

Strong thunderstorms capable of large hail, damaging winds and perhaps a tornado or two are expected later Friday in Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area.

Wichita was initially included in an “enhanced” risk for severe weather issued by the Storm Prediction Center, but an updated outlook posted late Friday morning shifted that zone to northwest of the city into central Kansas.

Friday’s storms “include the risk for supercells capable of producing very large hail and perhaps a few strong tornadoes, mainly across parts of central Kansas,” according to an outlook posted on the SPC’s website.

The enhanced zone stretches from the northwest corner of Sedgwick County nearly to the Nebraska state line. It extends almost as far west as Dodge City and nearly to Topeka on the east.

“There’s still definitely a chance of severe weather in Wichita,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jaclyn Ritzman said, but the most favorable conditions have drifted west into central Kansas.

Storms are expected to blossom after about 3 p.m. in central Kansas and then work their way east into the evening. Individual storms are likely to track northeast once they form.

Hail as large as tennis balls will be possible with some storms, according to the National Weather Service. Highs today could approach 80 in the Wichita area once morning cloud clutter clears. It’ll be breezy, with southerly winds in the teens and 20s gusting above 30 miles an hour at times.

Overnight lows will be in the mid-50s, forecasters say, with more thunderstorms likely. Evening storms may morph into a line of strong thunderstorms moving into eastern Kansas.

Saturday will be mostly sunny in the Wichita area, forecasters say, with highs in the low 80s. Sunday will be cooler, with highs in the upper 60s.

Monitor conditions and forecasts today and be prepared to take shelter quickly.

For more information on current conditions, go to our weather page.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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