How Long has it been since Wichita has been Below Zero? (12/22/2004)

By: Kevin Darmofal

It has been almost 9 years since Wichita has officially experienced sub-zero temperatures.

AS WINTER'S FIRST BLAST OF ARCTIC AIR HITS THE AREA, AND THE POTENTIAL FOR NEAR ZERO DEGREE TEMPERATURES, YOU MAY WONDER HOW LONG IT HAS BEEN SINCE WICHITA HAS OFFICIALLY DROPPED BELOW ZERO.

WELL, A CHECK OF THE RECORD BOOKS SHOWS THAT THE LAST TIME THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED BELOW ZERO WAS WAY BACK ON FEBRUARY, 4TH, 1996, WITH A LOW OF 7 BELOW. THIS IS A STRETCH JUST SHY OF 9 YEARS WITHOUT EXPERIENCING THE FRIGID SUB-ZERO READINGS. ACTUALLY, IN LOOKING AT THE RECORD BOOKS MORE IN DEPTH, THIS CURRENT STRETCH OF ZERO OR ABOVE WEATHER IS THE LONGEST SINCE WEATHER RECORDS HAVE BEEN KEPT IN WICHITA, WHICH DATE BACK TO 1888.

THE MOST NOTABLE STRETCHES BETWEEN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES ARE INCLUDED BELOW:

2/4/1996 TO CURRENT, 8 PLUS YEARS 12/30/1990 TO 1/19/1996, 5 PLUS YEARS 1/21/1954 TO 1/1/1959, 4 PLUS YEARS 12/10/1919 TO 1/5/1924, 4 PLUS YEARS 2/13/1905 TO 1/5/1909, 3 PLUS YEARS 2/17/1936 TO 2/21/1939, 3 PLUS YEARS

THE LOW TEMPERATURE ON FRIDAY MORNING IS EXPECTED TO BE AROUND ZERO AT THE MID-CONTINENT AIRPORT, WHICH IS THE OFFICIAL LOCATION FOR WEATHER RECORDS IN WICHITA. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WE HAVE REACHED (BUT NOT DROPPED BELOW) ZERO 3 TIMES SINCE 1996. COULD THIS BE THE AIRMASS OR WINTER SEASON WE FINALLY BREAK THE CURRENT STRETCH OF NO SUB-ZERO WEATHER? TIME WILL TELL. UNTIL THAT DAY, THIS RECORD WILL CONTINUE TO GET LONGER.

WHETHER WE BREAK THIS STRETCH OR NOT, IT WILL STILL BE DANGEROUSLY COLD. IF YOU WILL BE OUT THE NEXT FEW NIGHTS, DRESS APPROPRIATELY. IN THIS TYPE OF WEATHER, FROST BITE AND HYPOTHERMIA CAN OCCUR WITHIN A FEW MINUTES.

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.



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