Howling winds through Thursday; quieter for the weekend

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*A high wind warning is in effect right now through 7 am on Thursday for Cloud, Clay, Riley, Geary, Morris, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee, Lyon, Jackson, Shawnee, Osage, Coffey, Jefferson, Douglas, Franklin, and Anderson counties.*

**A high wind warning will be in effect from 7 am until 7 pm on Thursday for Republic and Cloud counties.**

A strengthening mid-latitude cyclone continues to cause major issues in Denver and other parts of Colorado and even western Kansas. Denver International Airport has already recorded a 75 mph wind gust, which is equivalent to the strength of a weak category 1 hurricane. High winds there are resulting in blizzard conditions across the front range as snow continues to fall, as well.

While the core of that system is well off to the west, the tail of that low pressure system is bringing rain and howling winds right here in northeast Kansas. A line of showers will continue to lift off to the north and northeast as the day progresses. That will not only allow some dry time to finally move in, but even some breaks of sunshine will start to peek through from southwest to northeast.

However, we will be keeping a close eye on a short time frame of just a few hours later this afternoon. Between 2 and 6 pm, there is the slight chance of a few isolated storms to pop up in central Kansas, and even into the northwest corner of northeast Kansas. While it is a big IF as to whether or not any storms could develop, any that do could strengthen enough to become border-line severe storms. 

Otherwise, the main focus across northeast Kansas for today will be the howling winds. Albeit not as strong as what parts of Colorado are currently contending with, it will still be enough to potentially cause some issues here locally. 40 to 50 mph wind gusts will be possible for counties along the Kansas- Nebraska border, with stronger 50 to 60 wind gusts expected elsewhere across the region. Winds stay strong for the rest of today, heading into the Thursday morning. For Thursday though, the highest winds are expected moreso over central Kansas and into our extreme western areas, where again 50 to 60 mph wind gusts will be possible. Elsewhere across northeast Kansas, winds will still be gusting at 40 to 50 mph through the majority of Thursday.

These winds will be high enough to make for some difficult travel conditions at times, especially for high profile vehicles. Not only that, but some loose, lightweight objects could easily be blown around, and even some weaker tree limbs could be brought down.

That wind may be strong for today, but it will be a warm wind out of the south, getting high temperatures into the upper 50s through the mid 60s for today. The wind will gradually shift from a south to northwest direction for Thursday, which will bring in some cooler air from the north. That means Thursday will feel quite a bit cooler than today. High temperatures will only get into the 30s and 40s, but throw in wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph, and wind chills will be primarily in the 20s and 30s for the afternoon.

Now, while the center of this strong storm system that’s currently over Colorado and western Kansas will miss northeast Kansas as it takes a path across Nebraska and the Dakotas, it could still clip us locally. There is the chance of some more passing showers changing over to some wet snowflakes overnight tonight into Thursday morning for some northwestern and western areas. That chance of a cold rain, and even a few wet snowflakes mixing in, will spread in a little further into more of northeast Kansas through the early evening hours of Thursday.

Beyond that, some quieter weather finally returns. A mix of sun and clouds for Friday will go along with high in the 40s. Plenty of sunshine is expected for both Saturday and Sunday as high temperatures rebound back into the 50s.

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