Today is the anniversary of the April 26, 1991, tornado that hit Haysville, southeast Wichita (including McConnell AFB) before it grew larger and hit Andover. Winfield also experienced a deadly tornado on this day along with Red Rock, Oklahoma. Today is known in history as the “Great Plains Tornado Outbreak.”  

Today we are tracking a different threat – the potential for wildfires. High fire danger persists out west as winds increase from west to east in the building heat through evening.  

Some gusts may approach 50 as they sweep through the state into Wednesday.  We will need to watch for high fire danger west of I-135 on Wednesday.  

Wednesday afternoon the first wave of storms in our next unsettled stretch fires to the southwest.  

Hail will be primary with 50-60 MPH gusts.  A Marginal Risk is positioned west into Wednesday night for the possibility of a stronger storm or two.  

This activity tracks east through the overnight to affect central and eastern Kansas by dawn Thursday.  On Thursday, a Marginal Risk is sitting over portions of southern Kansas where hail is a primary concern with 50-60 MPH gusts.  There will be two rounds of storms.  The leftovers in the morning followed by another chance later in the day.  Moisture will march our way with dew points inching near 60.

A stronger system is pegged for Friday.  Latest model guidance today has this shifting slightly East.  Storm initiation depends on the dryline’s stopping point and the degree of warmth aloft.  

Since we are dealing with late April sunshine, a stronger angle, along with time to build in the heat, we will need to overcome the “cap” or lid over the upper atmosphere serving to keep thunderstorms at bay.  With the front advancing, we should be able to overcome this like we have with previous systems over the last few weeks. This “push” will enable storms to develop ahead of the dryline Friday evening.  Some will be severe with large hail and a tornado or two.  Winds will also be gusty.  

Any wraparound moisture to the north departs Saturday.  We will need to watch a system to the south by late Sunday into Monday that will return rain to our viewing area.  We will take any moisture we can get.

KSN Storm Track 3 Forecast from Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman:

Wichita:
Tonight: Mostly clear to partly cloudy, breezy. Lo: 48 Wind: S 10-20
Tomorrow: Partly cloudy, windy. Hi: 78 Wind: S/SW 15-30
Tomorrow Night: Partly to mostly cloudy, windy. 60% chance of showers and storms. Lo: 57 Wind: SW/SE 10-25

Wichita Weekly
Thu: Hi: 78 Lo: 61 Mostly to partly cloudy, breezy. 40% chance of showers and storms.
Fri: Hi: 82 Lo: 54 Partly to mostly cloudy, windy. 20% chance of showers and storms.
Sat: Hi: 72 Lo: 47 Partly cloudy, windy. 10% chance of showers and storms.
Sun: Hi: 74 Lo: 52 Partly to mostly cloudy, breezy.
Mon: Hi: 72 Lo: 49 Mostly to partly cloudy, breezy. 20% chance of showers and storms.
Tue: Hi: 75 Lo: 54 Partly cloudy, windy.

-Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman