Wichita weather: Heavy snow, strong winds by afternoon

The second strong snow storm to hit Wichita in less than a week is likely to have a deceptive opening act, forecasters say.

Overnight rain is expected to change to snow in time for the morning commute, but folks may spend the morning hours thinking it won’t be as bad as weather officials have been warning for a few days now.

But by afternoon, the snow will be heavy and winds will be gusting to more than 40 miles an hour, forecasters say. That will make the evening commute a potential nightmare for those who don’t leave work early.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for nine counties in southern and south-central Kansas until noon Tuesday. The Wichita metropolitan area is included in the warning.

Wichita could see up to 14 inches from this storm, according to the National Weather Service. Lesser amounts are expected north of Hutchinson and Newton.

“The strong north winds combined with moderate to heavy snow will cause major blowing and drifting snow that will frequently reduce visibilities to less than one-half mile in many areas,” the agency’s warning stated. “Drifts could reach two or three feet. Travel will be dangerous and is greatly discouraged.”

The snow and strong winds are expected to continue through Monday night into early Tuesday morning forecasters say. Winds will begin to ease Tuesday afternoon, and the rest of the week appears likely to give Wichita a chance to begin digging out from this latest winter salvo.

For the latest information on current conditions, go to our weather page.