2006 GAINS ADMISSION INTO TOP-10 WARMEST YEARS IN WICHITA & SALINA (1/16/2007)

By: ES

As far as the 48 contiguous United States are concerned, 2006 was the warmest year on record, compiling a national annual average temperature of an even 55.0 degrees Fahrenheit. This was 2.2 degrees above the 20th century normal of 52.8 degrees. In Wichita and Salina, 2006 gained admission into the 'Top-10 Warmest Years on Record' for both cities, but ranked 5th and 8th, for Wichita and Salina, respectively.

Here is how 2006 ranked in comparison to other "notoriously" warm years: (All temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit)

WICHITA: Climate Period of Record July 1st, 1888-Present
1) 1954: 60.1
2) 1933: 59.9
3) 1934: 59.7
4) 1939: 59.6
5) *2006: 59.5*
6) 1946: 59.3
7) 1938: 59.3
8) 1931: 59.3
9) 1921: 59.2
10) 1998: 59.8

SALINA: Climate Period of Record 1894-Present
1) 1938: 60.3
2) 1934: 60.3
3) 1939: 60.0
4) 1931: 60.0
5) 1933: 59.8
6) 1954: 59.6
7) 1946: 59.4
8) *2006: 58.8*
9) 1921: 58.8
10) 1953: 58.5

The 5th and 8th place rankings of 2006 on the "Top-10 Warmest Years on Record" for Wichita and Salina respectively prompted the conducting of such research for other cities in Central, South-Central, and Southeast Kansas.

CHANUTE: Climate Period of Record 1894-Present
1) 1921: 60.4
2) 1938: 60.3
3) 1934: 60.2
4) 1931: 60.2
5) 1939: 60.0
6) 1933: 60.0
7) 1954: 59.9
8) 1936: 59.3
9) 1946: 59.2
10) 1922: 59.0
11)*2006: 58.9*

As one can tell, 2006 narrowly missed admission into the ten warmest years for Chanute by a mere 0.1 degree.

In Central Kansas, since data for Russell Municipal Airport date back only to 1949, Lincoln 1ESE was selected in it's place. Their ten warmest years on record appear below:

LINCOLN 1ESE: Climate Period of Record 1912-Present
1) 1934: 63.0
2) 1954: 59.2
3) 1933: 58.6
4) 1946: 58.3
5) 1931: 58.1
6) 1953: 57.9
7) 1938: 57.9
8) 1921: 57.9
9) 1963: 57.5
10) 1939: 57.5
In 2006, Lincoln 1ESE recorded an annual average temperature of 56.1 degrees, 1.4 degrees shy of admission into the Top-10 warmest years on record.

McPHERSON: Climate Period of Record 1893-Present
1) 1934: 60.1
2) 1954: 59.8
3) 1933: 59.3
4) 1921: 59.3
5) 1938: 59.1
6) 1931: 59.0
7) 1953: 58.7
8) 1946: 58.7
9) 1990: 58.7
10) 1991: 58.5
In 2006, McPherson recorded an annual average temperature of 57.4 degrees, 1.1 degrees shy of admission into the Top-10 warmest years on record.

So while the warmth of 2006 achieved historic proportions nationwide, in Central, South-Central and Southeast Kansas, only two locations sampled, Wichita and Salina, saw 2006 rank in the ten warmest years, and of the two, only Wichita saw this year penetrate the five warmest years on record. It is possible that local effects, such as heat island, may have played a role as these are the two largest cities in the Wichita County Warning Area (CWA). However, further research is required to see if, in fact, the heat island effect did play a role in these statistics.

It is interesting to note that, as far as the five sites examined are concerned, that in each case, six or seven of the ten warmest years on record occurred during the 1930s (the Dust Bowl Era), and the 1950s. For the 1950s, it would be interesting to see if various teleconnections, such as El Nino and La Nina, played a role as well. As of this writing, historical data for the 1930s related to the various teleconnections are not available. If any correlation exists, we shall inform you accordingly.

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



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