While the weather in Wichita is relatively mild both in summer and winter, ours is a four-season climate with very distinct weather changes. Our climate is best described as mild with short periods of weather extremes, and the sun shines for at least part of 225 days on average every year.
Wichita’s weather is influenced, like most weather in the Great Plains, by warm air masses, laden with moisture, moving north from the Gulf of Mexico. These warm air masses meet and interact with colder air which pushes south from Arctic regions. The point of collision between the two air masses is determined by where the jet stream, a west to east flow of air in the upper atmosphere, is located. In many respects, the jet stream forms a boundary, in some cases a barricade, to either of the two air masses.
A significant element of weather in Wichita which affects both temperature extremes is the wind. Even on the hottest days of summer, when temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees, a prevailing wind from the south (and relatively low humidities) keep the heat from becoming oppressive. In the winter, the same wind can bring wind chills to well below zero one day and almost spring-like weather the next. Still, weather extremes don’t usually last very long, normally only a few days.
Known for the presence of tornadoes, Kansas is free of hurricanes, smog and tidal waves.
Tornado Strikes Wichita!
Early in the evening on May 3, 1999, an F4 rated tornado struck Haysville and Wichita killing six, injuring as many as 100, and damaging or destroying 150 homes and 27 businesses along its 12 mile path of destruction.
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