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Limbs fall as winds, dust scorch Hays





City crews were out this morning picking up stray branches blown down during Tuesday night's high winds.

A top wind gust of 61 mph was recorded at 8:15 p.m. at Hays Regional Airport.

Similar wind speeds were reported elsewhere through the area, including one report in the small town of Alexander in Rush County.

Strong wind gusts were common throughout the evening, and heavy dust filtered in at approximately 10 p.m. along with what's known as a heat burst.

"A heat burst was likely experienced already in Hays earlier this evening when the temperature jumped from 86 degrees to 96 in a matter of minutes between 9:30 and 9:50 p.m.," according to a post by Brooks Barber at Cirrus Weather in Hays.

"Heat bursts are interesting, relatively rare, atmospheric nighttime events characterized by gusty winds, a rapid increase in surface temperature and a decrease in surface dew point associated with a dissipating thunderstorm," according to the National Weather Service.

While unusual, they aren't unheard of and can be accompanied by strong winds capable of doing damage.

At the airport, however, temperatures didn't rise as dramatically, but they still jumped from 88 degrees at 9:35 p.m. to 91 degrees 15 minutes later.

Visibility also fell from 10 miles to 1.75 miles as a result of the blowing dust.

But no rain fell, as the storms stayed to the south of Hays.

With no additional rain, Hays remains locked at 0.4 of an inch for the month and 3.38 for the year.

Additional storms are forecast for the area through Friday night.