Wichita’s "Heat Burst"

Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport experienced a heat burst during the night. Here are the temperatures:

  • 11:53pm, 84°F, wind gusting to 69 mph
  • 12:53am, 101°, shifting winds, 49 mph
  • 1:13am, 93°, winds 37 mph
  • 1:53am, 81°, winds 33 mph

A heat burst is a downburst, usually from a dissipating thunderstorm, that continues no, or almost no, rain at the ground. Any rain evaporates before reaching the ground. When air is forced from the thunderstorm’s cloud base to the ground, it warms at a rate of 5.5°F per each thousand feet it is forced to sink.

On Wichita’s northeast side, the winds were less (I didn’t notice anything major) but the temperatures at Col. James Jabara Airport were even warmer.

  • 12:54am, 83°F
  • 1:18am, 102°, gusts to 48 mph
  • 1:54am, 89°
  • 2:54am, 80°

They are rare, but dramatic.

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2 thoughts on “Wichita’s "Heat Burst"

  1. I went outside (I live in Leon) to experience this at 2am. Has Wichita or this area ever recorded such an event before?

    It was surreal.

    The persistent winds and warm temps are making things very "crispy" out here.

    We did get .85 inches of rain last night but my newly planted prairie grass needs more!

    Candace Craw-Goldman