It is very important that we all stay weather aware Wednesday. We have an active weather day ahead as our next front approaches the area.
A significant wind event is likely today with sustained winds up 30 to 50 mph. Gusts could reach as high as 60 to 70+ mph. The sunflower state will not be the only ones experiencing these winds, there will likely be a large swath across the region.
Winds have increased during the overnight and will peak from mid morning through the afternoon. Hopefully everyone secured any loose items and holiday decor they may have outside. Commuters, especially those who drive high profile vehicles, will need to keep a tighter grip on the steering wheel today. It also would not be a bad idea to add extra travel time because of blowing dust which could reduce visibility. High Wind Warnings will be in effect between 9am and 9pm.
Be prepared for power outages as winds will be strong enough to bring down power lines. Winds will decrease after sundown but Thursday will still be a breezy day. It could be a busy clean up day too with tree limbs and branches littered across the area. In addition to all of the impacts that the wind will bring, there will be extreme fire danger.
Outdoor burning is highly discouraged today. Be mindful of anything hanging from vehicles that could cause sparks while driving. Also be mindful of properly disposing cigarette butts. Fire Weather Warnings will be in effect all day.
There is a small chance of rain today. First to the northwest and then to the east. Most of us will miss out on any moisture.
Drier air will eat away at rain to the northwest just before a chance of a transition to a flurry. As the front tracks to the east, far North Central Kansas will need to be monitored for a shower or storm. Late in the day the front will spark a narrow band of storms, mainly from Kay county in Oklahoma to Lyon county or east of the Turnpike.
Our easternmost counties will need to be monitored closely because this is where the Storm Prediction Center has extended a Marginal Risk of severe weather. Should there be an isolated strong to severe storm, damaging wind gusts will be the main threat. Just as quick as the line of storms forms, it will move out of the area so the window of opportunity for a rumble will be brief.
Record warmth is possible today. Highs range from the 60s to the 70s. The record high today in Wichita is 66, the forecast high is 74.
A colder start early Thursday morning will kick-off a more seasonable trend the rest of the week.
We will also have to continue to wait for moisture. However, at least early-week holiday travelers that plan to leave or enter the sunflower state for Christmas will not have any active weather to worry about.