This morning was a frigid start. Wichita dipped to 9°! This is the coldest the Air Capital has experienced since February!
As winds switched from the south, we rebounded nicely out west this afternoon. However, temperatures were much cooler farther east.
As high pressure shifts east, we maintain this southerly flow tonight. This keeps temperatures elevated under starry skies. It will still be cold but not to the bitter level we had Sunday morning.
Early this week, I see two cold fronts coming. However, both will be dry. One for Monday that will enable temps farther south to be milder than areas north. Temperatures will be above average for this time of year.
The second front Tuesday will have little effect on our temperatures. We will see an uptick in cloud cover, but no moisture. Travel should be smooth-sailing for most of the holiday week until we get to Friday.
Temperatures look to climb the remainder of the week heading into Christmas Eve. Highs will warm into the 60s and 70s!
Concerns for wildfires grow on Christmas Eve especially to the southwest. Unseasonable warmth, dry ground, low humidity and an increasing wind will be the unfortunate mixture that would enable wildfires to spread quickly.
Winds gusting between 40 and 60 MPH will only enhance this in particular to the southwest. The Wichita area could also experience stronger wind gusts leading to a higher grassland fire danger, although the max looks to be concentrated for our southwest counties into the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Early next weekend, timed for Christmas, we have another cold front. Depending on how quickly it works through the region, we will be able to enjoy the unseasonable warmth a little longer before cooling a few the rest of the weekend. This change also looks to happen on a dry note.
Next opportunity for moisture is between December 27 and 29. Even then, looks meager and best represented farther east. No rain for the rest of the year for western Kansas, unfortunately.
–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman