Topeka wind chill hits minus 11 on Monday; police urge motorists to drive carefully

An arctic blast of air hit Topeka Monday morning, as police encouraged motorists to drive carefully to avoid sliding on ice.


The National Weather Service reported temperatures here plunged from 35 degrees at 1 a.m. to 11 at 8 a.m., when a wind chill index of minus 9 was recorded.

Topeka streets were somewhat slick, said Topeka police Lt. Andrew Beightel.

“The good thing is that the sand trucks and everything are out in full force,” he said.

The police department remained in its “walk-in” accident reporting phrase, in which officers respond only to the scene of injury, hit-and-run or alcohol-related accidents, or those that result in disabled vehicles, Beightel said.

The Kansas Highway Patrol and Shawnee County Sheriff’s office responded shortly after 7 a.m. to the scene of a one-vehicle crash in which a woman was reported injured on K-4 highway, just south of S.E. 6th on the Oakland Expressway.

It wasn’t clear whether the accident was weather-related. Further details weren’t immediately available. It was one of multiple crashes reported Monday morning in the capital city.

The weather service reported the capital city had seen its last official precipitation between 9 p.m. and midnight Sunday, when it recorded 0.04 inch of light rain and freezing rain.

The city also received 0.7 inches of snow early Monday, NWS meteorologist Bryan Baerg said.

Topeka temperatures subsequently plunged.

Frigid weather continued throughout the day, with partly sunny skies and winds coming from the north at about 15 mph while gusting to as high as 25 mph.

Around 8 p.m. Monday the temperature sat at 6 degrees with a wind chill of minus 11, Baerg said.

On Monday night, 99 of Kansas’ 105 counties were under a wind chill advisory. In the Topeka area, the advisory went into effect at 6 p.m. and was expected to expire at noon Tuesday. Wind chills could reach 25 below zero, the National Weather Service warned.

The forecast subsequently calls for:

  • A high near 11 Tuesday, with mostly sunny skies and wind chill values between minus 7 and minus 17. Winds should come from the northwest at around 10 mph.
  • A low around 0 Tuesday night, with mostly clear skies and winds starting out coming from the northwest at around 5 mph before becoming calm.
  • A high around 28 Wednesday, with sunny skies.
  • A low around 16 Wednesday night, with clear skies.
  • A high near 42 Thursday, with sunny skies.
  • A low around 27 Thursday night, with mostly clear skies.
  • A high near 49 Friday, with sunny skies.
  • A low around 36 Friday night, with partly cloudy skies.
  • A high near 52 Saturday, with partly sunny skies.
  • A low around 33 Saturday night, with mostly cloudy skies and a 30 percent chance of precipitation.
  • A high near 42 Sunday night, with partly cloudy skies and a 40 percent chance of precipitation.

Reporter Tim Hrenchir can be reached at (785) 295-1184 or on Twitter at @timhrenchir.