A blast of arctic air brought bone-chilling temperatures to Kansas.
The warmest place in the state Wednesday morning was in the southwestern city of Ashland, which registered a balmy 17 degrees at 9:15 a.m., with a wind chill of 9 degrees, K-State climatologist Mary Knapp said.
In Manhattan, the 9:15 a.m. temperature was about 1 degree, with a wind chill of minus 8. At Ashland Bottoms near the Konza Prairie, the temperature bottomed out overnight at a potential record of minus 1, Knapp said.
She said the bitter temperatures come from a push of arctic air into the region, commonly referred to as a polar vortex. Knapp said this type of weather is fairly common, although the temperatures are not always as drastic.
“We’re on the western edge, so we are not the coldest,” she said. “In Brown County in the northeastern part of the state, it is minus 7, wind chill of minus 16 degrees.”
Knapp said weather like this does not stay long, and the shift in temperature coming this weekend is not unheard of. She said this weekend, the weather center is predicting temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s.
“It’s funny the low for Saturday (47 degrees) is expected to be warmer than the high for Tuesday (35 degrees.)” Knapp said.
She said the warm air that comes after the cold will heat the ground quickly in the Midwest, but areas near the Great Lakes will not warm up as quickly because of snow cover.
Knapp also said after the warm air, there is a chance of more precipitation in February.