Kansas heat burst sends temp to 102 degrees at 1 a.m.

Jerilyn Billings thought she had been teleported from Wichita to the desert.

"It was like I was in Phoenix," she said in a Facebook post.

It was no wonder — the temperature as 1 a.m. neared on Thursday had climbed to 102.

Readings surged 17 degrees in 20 minutes — from 85 at 12:22 a.m. to 102 at 12:42 a.m.

It's almost certainly the first time the temperature has soared into triple digits after midnight in Wichita, weather officials said.

The spike was the result of a heat burst, which occurs when dry air plummets to the Earth's surface as a thunderstorm collapses, meteorologists said. As the air nears the ground, it heats dramatically.

"They are rare, but dramatic," WeatherData chief executive Mike Smith wrote of heat bursts in his weather blog Thursday.

Wind speeds of nearly 50 mph accompanied the heat burst in places.

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