For Wichita March 2007 Gains Admission Into Top-10 For Both Warmest & Wettest Categories (4/3/2007)

By: ES

In Wichita, March proved exceptionally warm and wet in 2007. The average monthly temperature of 54.8 degrees made 2007 the 2nd warmest March on record, while the 5.60 inches of rain measured enabled 2007 to finish as the 3rd wettest since climate records began on July 1st, 1888.

The first half of March, 2007 was uneventful, from both a temperature and rainfall standpoint. From the 1st through the 16th, the average temperature was 48.4 degrees, with a scant 0.16 inch of rainfall measured.

However, on the 20th, when Spring sprang into action, both the temperatures, especially the overnight lows, and the rainfall did as well.

From the 19th through the 30th, overnight lows at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport failed to drop below 50 degrees. The lows were a staggering 20 to 25 degrees above normal for this period. In fact, from the 21st through the 23rd, the low temperatures, 61 on the 21st, and 60 on the 22nd and 23rd, were as warm as the normal highs for these dates. This often resulted in daily average temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above normal.

From the 20th through 31st, the water faucet was turned on considerably, with 5.44 inches of rain measured during the 12-day period. On two dates, the 20th and 30th, the faucet was on full throttle, when new calendar day rainfall records were set. On the 20th, 2.21 inches drenched the Air Capital, inundating the previous record of 1.44 inches set for the date 103 years earlier in 1904. On the 30th, the 1.67 inch measurement swamped the previous record of 1.48 inches set in 1973. The 48-hour total for the 29th (0.90 inch) and 30th equaled a staggering 2.57 inches, only 0.14 inch shy of the total normal March rainfall of 2.71 inches.

Needless-to-say, area rivers rose to the occasion. The Chikaskia River at Corbin rose 7.5 feet from 4.4 feet at 7 PM on the 29th, to 11.9 feet around 10 am on the 31st. Minor flooding occurred from around 715 AM to 915 PM on the 31st. In Arkansas City, the Walnut River, though failing to even threaten the flood stage 18.0 feet, none-the-less rose 9 feet from 4.6 feet at 7 PM on the 29th, to 13.6 feet around 1 AM on April 1st. Fortunately, area rivers were low prior to the onset of rainfall, otherwise there would have likely been some tense moments for many residents of South-Central Kansas the last week-and-a-half of March.

The final March rainfall of 5.60 inches was an impressive 2.89 inches above normal for the month.

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