Finger on the Weather

Wichita weather: Record warmth expected Wednesday

Courtesy of National Weather Service

Record-setting temperatures are expected in the Wichita area and other parts of Kansas on Wednesday, forecasters say.

Highs could reach 70 degrees in Wichita and 71 in Salina, which would topple records for both cities, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Metzger said. The current record high for Wichita on Dec. 9 is 67, set in 1946.

“I know it’s vulnerable,” Metzger said of the record.

Salina’s record for this date is 68, set in 1957.

Russell shattered its high temperature record for Dec. 8, reaching 67 degrees. The previous high was 62, set in 1990.

Wichita’s high has been 50 or above every day this month, a string that forecasters say could continue into the weekend. If that forecast holds, it would be just the third time since weather records began being kept in Wichita in 1888 that the first 12 days of December saw high temperatures of at least 50. The most recent occurrence came in 1965.

The extended warm spell is the result of westerly winds, Metzger said, which are coming down the slope of the front range of the Rockies. That “down slope” effect warms temperatures by compressing the atmosphere closer to the surface.

Highs are expected to reach the mid- to upper 60s on Thursday and Friday and the mid-50s on Saturday. The next chance for precipitation in the area arrives Saturday.

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

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger