Blizzard looms for western Kansas

A winter storm packing heavy snow and blizzard conditions is rolling into Kansas later tonight, and weather officials in three states are warning residents to prepare.

“This winter storm will produce very heavy snowfall amounts,” a statement from the Goodland branch of the National Weather Service states. “A swath of one to two feet is possible along a Limon, Colo., to McCook, Neb., line…with up to a foot as far south as the I-70 corridor. Snow amounts rapidly diminish south of I-70.

“In addition to the snow, north winds gusting over 40 miles per hour will create blizzard conditions….travel will be hazardous if not impossible Friday and Saturday.”

Blizzard conditions are forecast for most of Colorado, much of western Nebraska, and far western and northwest Kansas. In addition, up to a foot of snow is much of western Kansas by the time snowfall ends Saturday. Snowfall of 4 to 8 inches is possible in northcentral Kansas, the weather service states, with lesser amounts south of U.S. 24.

Wichita may see some flurries Saturday morning, but the precipitation will fall almost exclusively as rain in the metropolitan area.

“Periods of thunderstorms will continue to affect southern Kansas on Friday,” a hazardous weather outlook issued by the weather service states. “Some of the thunderstorms may become severe with large hail, especially along and south of U.S. 54 Friday afternoon.”