Finger on the Weather

Flash flood watch until 7 a.m. for Wichita metro area

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch until 7 a.m. Friday for portions of central and south-central Kansas, including the Wichita metropolitan area.

“Numerous thunderstorms are expected to develop along a frontal boundary” across much of central and south-central Kansas, said a statement issued by the weather service.

The flash flood watch begins at 7 p.m. and covers McPherson, Marion, Chase, Reno, Harvey, Butler, Greenwood, Woodson, Allen, Kingman, Sedgwick, Harper, Sumner, Cowley, Elk and Wilson counties.

Rainfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour are possible with these storms. That rain is expected to occur in the same areas that received 1 to 2.5 inches of rain early Thursday morning.

The heaviest rain fell in northwest Wichita and north of the city in Sedgwick County, National Weather Service meteorologist Robb Lawson said.

Rainfall amounts “varied quite a bit” across the city, Lawson said.

The official rainfall total for Wichita was .05, which means the strong storms missed southwest Wichita.

“It was a really thin line — a little group of storms that affected the northern portion of Sedgwick County,” Lawson said.

Hail the size of nickels and dimes was reported with the storms as well.

Storms expected to form and move through the region Thursday night and early Friday will be “somewhat of a repeat” of the early Thursday storms, Lawson said.

“We can’t rule out downburst winds” from a collapsing storm, he said.

Those winds could reach 70 miles an hour, forecasters say, along with hail the size of half-dollar coins.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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