Finger on the Weather

Wichita weather: Strong thunderstorms possible, but bull’s-eye has shifted

A forecast map showing the chances of severe storms predicted for Saturday.
A forecast map showing the chances of severe storms predicted for Saturday. Courtesy of National Weather Service

Strong thunderstorms are expected in much of southern Kansas over the next couple of days, forecasters say.

With heavy rain possible in areas where the ground is already saturated, the National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a flood watch for all 26 counties in its coverage area until 7 a.m. Sunday.

Wichita receive a good soaking Friday evening, although severe storms largely shifted to the south.

Saturday still looks potentially explosive for portions of central and western Kansas and Oklahoma, said Vanessa Pearce, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, but Wichita’s threat has diminished.

“The better chances look to be west and south of here,” Pearce said of Saturday.

Wichita will still have an “enhanced” risk of severe weather, though the “moderate” risk has shifted west to Dodge City and Pratt and points north.

“All severe hazards will be likely Saturday afternoon into evening, including tornadoes – some strong – very large hail and damaging winds, with severe storms spreading across Oklahoma, north Texas and much of Kansas,” a statement posted on the Storm Prediction Center’s website reads.

The high Saturday will be in the mid- to upper 70s, with a mix of clouds and sun and humid conditions, forecasters say.

More showers and thunderstorms are possible on Mother’s Day, but at this point those storms appear to be scattered and not as strong as those anticipated on Saturday.

Contributing: Matt Riedl of The Eagle

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

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