weather

Roy Anderson / Oklahoma Highway Patrol/Oklahoma Forestry Services

One year and nearly a half million torched acres after the Starbuck wildfire, strong winds blow across a parched Kansas landscape.

File/Reno County Fire District #6

Much of Kansas is under a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service for strong winds and dry conditions.

With the potential for dangerous grassland fires through Wednesday, forecasters elevated the fire danger levels in central and south-central Kansas to extreme and catastrophic categories.

Meteorologist Kevin Darmofal with the National Weather Service Office in Wichita says the dry winter and current conditions create a dangerous situation.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW, File Photo

Winter weather has created some slick and hazardous roads across Kansas. Walt Brinker, the author of "Roadside Survival," says the best way for motorists to avoid sliding off the road, or getting stuck in snow and icy conditions, is to stay home.

"If you do have to go out, you need to watch your speed—accelerate and decelerate very gradually and don't make any sudden stops," Brinker says. "If you can avoid stopping at stop lights by timing your driving so that you arrive as they turn green or while they're green, you'll be much further ahead than if you had to stop for a light."

Predictive Service, National Interagency Fire Center

For the third straight year, Kansans can expect a higher than average danger for wildland fire. 

COURTESY GARY MILLERSHASKI

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering disaster assistance to dozens of counties in western Kansas which were affected by a late spring snowstorm.

The storm dumped heavy snow, and straight-line winds up to 60 miles per hour created drifts and knocked downed power lines and trees. The snowstorm affected 27 counties, mainly in western and northwestern Kansas, from April 28 to May 3.

FEMA will reimburse state and local governments, agencies and nonprofits for recovery projects.

Paul Sableman / flickr Creative Commons

It's hot, and people who work outdoors in Wichita have to endure the sweltering heat, including city letter carriers. How are they keeping cool?

Teresa Rash manages Wichita’s downtown post office. She supervises 66 carriers and their 47 routes.

“They can be out there anywhere for 6 to 8 hours sometimes carrying mail. It puts their bodies through the ringers, so to speak," she says.

Rash says it's important for carriers to stay cool in hot weather.

Jim Crocker / flickr Creative Commons

As temperatures rise this summer, the Wichita Fire Department is warning people not to leave kids or pets in hot cars.

Even on mild days, the temperature inside of a car can climb to dangerous levels.

Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell says every year, his team has to respond to reports of kids or pets being left in cars—sometimes it’s by accident, sometimes a parent just isn’t aware of the danger.

State Farm, flickr Creative Commons

Severe storms are likely to hit Wichita on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The National Weather Service in Wichita forecasts severe golf ball- to baseball-sized hail, damaging winds up to 75 mph and flood-producing heavy rain.

Meteorologist Chris Jakub says there is a chance for a few tornadoes with the storms as well, but don't underestimate the hail that's expected.

“You never want to underplay the hail. I mean when you get hail as big as baseballs, that is extremely damaging and the winds as well can cause a lot of damage," Jakub says.

COURTESY GARY MILLERSHASKI

A blizzard hit western Kansas over the weekend, shutting down roads and forcing schools to close. The late spring storm also knocked out power to thousands of residents and buried livestock in drifts of snow.

Farmers in western Kansas are worried a spring blizzard that dumped as much as two feet of snow destroyed much of this year’s wheat crop.

Kansas is the No. 1 wheat state in the country. About 20 percent of the nation’s wheat crop last year was grown by Kansas farmers.

Trooper Tod KHP Hays, Kansas / Facebook

Clean-up is underway in western Kansas, following a weekend blizzard that dumped heavy snow and knocked down trees and power lines.

Most of the highways that were shut down due to the heavy snow were back open by noon on Monday, but there were still icy spots.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported numerous crashes along a stretch of I-70.

National Guard teams were called out more than 40 times to rescue stranded drivers. Fourteen National Guard teams operated from seven locations in northwest and southwest Kansas on Sunday.

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