Rare Arctic Air Mass to Start the New Year (1/9/2010)

By: NWS Wichita

  Rare Arctic Air Mass to Start the New Year
 

 An unusually cold Arctic airmass came across the area on January 6th and stayed through January 9th putting record low temperatures in jeopardy. In the images below you can see that on the morning of January 6th the cold air was mainly over Canada. Throughout the day  and even into Thursday January 7th, you can see the cold airmass continuing to drop south into the Plains. This area has not seen a cold airmass like this since December 2005, and even February 1996 before that. So far the Wichita Area has had 9 consecutive days below freezing which is uncommon, especially since the average temperature is 39 F.

 Besides the cold temperatures, this Arctic airmass brought in very strong winds throughout the area on the evening of January 6th and on Thursday the 7th.  These strong winds combined with the very cold temperatures created dangerous wind chills. Below are graphs of the strongest winds and the coldest wind chill temperatures. Wind chills through this cold outbreak created dangerous situations for people, animals, and property that were outdoors for a long period of time. Several schools across the area were cancelled or delayed, waterline mains bursted and slick driving conditions were reported.

 On January 6th an upper level system moved its way across the Northern Plains. The cold front associated with it draped across the area bringing in a few bands of snow through Central, South Central and Southeast KS. Due to lack of moisture snow amounts were roughly around 1-3 inches, yet this combined with strong winds created very low visibilities and therefore dangerous driving condtions. A total snowfall map is below. 

 Wednesday January 6th,  6 AM Temperatures

 Wednesday January 6th,  6 PM Temperatures

  Thursday January 7th,  6 AM Temperatures

Thursday January 7th,  6 PM Temperatures

Highest Wind Speed Throughout the Area
 Russell  35 MPH
 Salina  41 MPH
 Hutchinson  39 MPH
 Wichita Jabara  44 MPH
 Wichita Midcont  41 MPH
 Winfield  45 MPH
 Chanute  37 MPH
 Coffeyville  43 MPH
 Parsons  41 MPH
  Coldest Windchills Throughout the Area
 Russell -23 F
 Salina  -22 F
 Hutchinson  -19 F
 Wichita Jabara  -20 F
 Wichita Midcont  -18 F
 Winfield  -17 F
 Chanute  -20 F
 Coffeyville  -20 F
 Parsons  -18 F

Total Snowfall Amount Map

 

 

Satellite Image from Jan 7th at Noon

Cold Temperatures covers NWS front door with Ice

 Ice on the NWS front door

Snow Drift at 6miles N of El Dorado. Picture by Butler Co. EM

Snow Drift at NW 60th & Havenhill in Butler Co. Picture by Butler Co. EM 

Snow Covered Road 5miles N of El Dorado. Picture by Butler Co. EM 

 
Fountains at Hutchinson's Carey Park. Picture taken by Rob Rose
 
Fountains at Hutchinson's Carey Park. Picture taken by Rob Rose

Fountains at Hutchinson's Carey Park. Picture taken by Rob Rose
 
Fountains at Hutchinson's Carey Park. Picture taken by Rob Rose
 

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



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