Finger on the Weather

Official: Dozens of temperature records fell across Kansas last week

Daffodils bloom in warmer February weather.
Daffodils bloom in warmer February weather. Courtesy photo

It was a weekend when folks across Kansas were wearing shorts and tank tops – in February.

That warm spell from Feb. 18 to 20 wasn’t just a welcome reprieve from winter, it rewrote the record books across the Sunflower State.

Dozens of temperature records – 69, to be exact – fell in that three-day period, state climatologist Mary Knapp said. Highs topped the 90s in Hays and Ashland, nearly matching the state record of 92 set at Aetna in 1980.

Goodland, Garden City and Dodge City all set temperature records for the month, according to the National Weather Service. A total of 21 reporting stations reported temperature records for the month, Knapp said. Most of those were in central and western Kansas.

Wilson Lake set a record for the high temperature in February on the 18th – and promptly broke it the next day.

But anyone fretting that last week’s warmth sets the stage for a scorching summer should relax, said Kevin Darmofal, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch of the weather service.

“It’s just something that happens,” Darmofal said of the warm spell. “That’s not that unusual.”

Wichita and the rest of the state could still see snow during the next few weeks, along with the seasonally cold weather that winter brings, he said.

“Even though we haven’t had much of a winter here in Wichita in terms of snow, things could change in a hurry,” Darmofal said. “It could still happen.”

There’s a chance of snow as early as the middle of next week, he said.

“The records that we had last weekend are definitely not a harbinger about how things are going to play out for the spring and summer,” Darmofal said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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