A large bowling ball of a low-pressure system is slowly pulling away, and high pressure is building into the north. The cold air channeled between these two features will give areas farther east their coldest night of the season tonight.  

Central into eastern Kansas will experience overnight lows in the 20s, whereas spots out west are not as brutally cold.  

Another batch of freeze warnings are in effect overnight through Wednesday morning. This includes Wichita, Sedgwick County, along with other counties from southcentral to southwest Kansas. We just have not been cold enough long enough for vegetation to take a hit in these locations. That changes tonight.

Over the next 24 hours, we will feel the winds of change as a southerly flow returns around the backside of the northern high-pressure system. This keeps us under sunshiny skies and dry conditions. Temperatures will moderate Wednesday but remain below average for Wichita.

The threat for wildfires is elevated, where winds are the strongest Wednesday afternoon. Fire weather watches and warnings are posted during peak heating.

We keep warming through Thursday. Friday, there is a wind shift that will create more wind. Gusts from 25-35 MPH are possible.  

The strongest gusts will be near and ahead of this wind shift. With warming temps in the 80s and plentiful dry vegetation, we need to watch for elevated fire concerns through early next week. Winds stay gusty over the weekend and ramp up further on Sunday. Wind gusts at this time will be in the neighborhood of 35-50 MPH with locally higher gusts. This is signaling a strong cold front that will sweep across the state next Monday.  

Showers and storms will form ahead of this feature. The question to iron out is how fast does this clear our area? A faster frontal flow reduces our chances for moisture. If it applies the brakes and slows down, then parts of central and eastern Kansas stand the best shot. The western half of our viewing area continues to look dry with this frontal passage.  

The system associated with this front will be floating around the Plains, and we may see more moisture on the backside of this by the middle of the week farther east. At this time, Missouri may benefit over us, but the track will be important.

Temperatures next week do not look as warm as this weekend. The nights do not look too bitter, either. There is another system to keep an eye on closer to Halloween for potentially more moisture. The pattern will flip after Monday’s strong cold front. This could be better news for us in the drought department than we have seen in months.  

KSN Storm Track 3 Forecast from Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman:

Wichita:
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lo: 26 Wind: N/W 5-15
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Hi: 64 Wind: SW 5-15
Tomorrow Night: Mostly clear. Lo: 41 Wind: SW 5-15

Wichita Weekly:
Thu: Hi: 76 Lo: 46 Mostly sunny.
Fri: Hi: 83 Lo: 52 Mostly sunny, windy.
Sat: Hi: 84 Lo: 56 Mostly sunny, windy.
Sun: Hi: 86 Lo: 54 Mostly sunny to partly cloudy, windy. 10% chance of showers and storms.
Mon: Hi: 72 Lo: 40 Mostly cloudy, windy. 20% chance of showers and storms.
Tue: Hi: 68 Lo: 39 Mostly to partly cloudy, windy. 10% chance of rain.

–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman