Wichita, Kansas is already seeing record warmth.
The mercury has hit a high of 57 degrees.
At 6 p.m.
CST, the city was averaging 35.6 degrees.
And that’s with the city in the middle of a winter storm that could see the mercury climb to 50 degrees.
It was an unusually warm night and early morning, so much so that it’s expected that temperatures will soar into the 40s at nightfall.
It’s a dangerous time for everyone, including the firefighters and firefighters on the ground.
“It’s dangerous,” said Sgt. Dan McVay, the fire marshal for Wichita, which is located about 50 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri.
“It’s just a lot of activity right now.
We need to make sure we get through this storm without incident, but there are a lot more fires in the area that are burning, and we need to be on top of it.”
The snowpack is at record lows in Kansas and it’s already started to melt.
According to the National Weather Service, Wichita had just 7 inches of snow on Tuesday.
“That’s not normal,” McVail said.
“This is not normal.
I’ve been out here a couple of times and it was snowing.
This is just not normal.”
The fire marshals say they have no way of predicting when the snow will melt.
Wichita Mayor Bill Gonyo says they are working on getting it all out before the storm ends.
He says the city is planning to open fire rings to keep crews busy.
“There are fires going in, there are fires burning, we have a lot going on,” he said.
The fire department is hoping to open a perimeter around the city.
Gonye says he is working with other emergency managers and fire departments around the state to get as much fire control equipment out there as possible.
“It would be great if we could have this in place before we get to the storm,” he says.
But he adds that even with all the equipment, the weather will still be a challenge.
“The snow will start to melt,” he explained.
“Then the wind will pick up.
Then we’ll get our fire trucks out here.”