KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: First frost/freeze of the season holds off – the extent of summertime heat into October

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While the calendar says fall, summer is not finished with us just yet. Later this week for a brief time, we are looking at temperatures returning to the 90s for several cities ahead of our next cold front. If you live in Kansas for any period of time, you know the extremes we face from season to season. Our weather can turn on a dime.

For the next 6 to 10 days, much of the country, including Kansas, will feel above-average temperatures. For us to reach the 90s into October is not that unheard of as we step through fall.

Look to the west and you will notice that from the Rocky Mountains to the West Coast, temperatures will be below average. This is something to watch into next week as a couple of storms systems move through the region. The second by the middle of next week may bring select overnight lows down into the 30s. Before the first system hits, we will feel the rush of a strong southerly flow that may bring new records to the region for the heat.

The year 2020 will go down as the year spent in isolation due to a pandemic. But, for the first half of October, we saw many warm days that drew us outside for fresh air. Wichita hit a high of 92-degrees on October 7. One thing different last year compared to this is the amount of cooler air to start the month. Last year by October 2 we already had overnight lows in this part of the state dropping into the 30s. We have yet to experience this in and around Wichita this year.

A common occurrence from Wichita to Salina to Goodland and Dodge City, is that we saw a major cooldown by the end of the month where either daytime highs and/or overnight lows were trending below freezing.

Goodland experienced a period of overnight lows below freezing from October 20 to 29. During this time on the 25th through the 26th, high temperatures were even below freezing!

After a toasty stretch of 90-degree days from October 7 through the 9th and again on October 11, lows dipped below freezing October 23 to only be followed by a high below freezing October 26.

The jetstream position is important because it tells the tale of who is warmer south of it compared to those farther north in the chill. This fast movement of air aloft that steers storms has dipped out west, which explains the cooler than average temperatures for that part of the nation. It will not take much for us to tap into this cooler air. So, do not get used to these 90-degree days as they will soon become a distant memory until next year.

–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

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