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High Wind Warning, Fire Danger Saturday, Eclipse Viewable Locally Monday


By Lucky Kidd


A high wind warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for roughly the western 2/3rds of Kansas from noon to 8 PM Saturday.

South winds are forecast to be sustained at 30 to 40 miles an hour, with gusts expected to near 60 miles an hour. These winds can blow down trees and power lines and make travel difficult, with blowing dust possible.

Winds speeds will back down some late Saturday night but will continue to gust to around 40 miles an hour at times through the day Sunday.

These winds combined with low relative humidity will also create a very high to extreme fire danger, especially for areas to the west of Hutchinson and Great Bend where red flag warnings have been issued.

There is also a slight risk for severe storms across a portion of central Kansas late Saturday afternoon and early evening. This is generally to the east and north of a line from Wilson Lake to Sterling to Newton to Emporia. In addition to damaging winds, large hail is also possible. A tornado or two can’t be ruled out but is not likely.

Looking ahead to Monday, conditions for central Kansas should be favorable for viewing of the solar eclipse, which will be at 80 to 85 percent for this area, greater as you go southeast. Many may not get to see it that are in the area of totality due to clouds and possible storms.