Light rain that began falling on Lawrence this morning was predicted to turn to snow by this evening, with accumulations of up to 4 inches.
Rob Edmiston, forecaster for the Kansas University Weather Service, said this morning that the moisture should turn to snow tonight, but should diminish to flurries Saturday. Edmiston predicted 1 to 2 inches of snow, but a forecaster at the National Weather Service in Topeka said the area could receive 3 to 4 inches of snow.
Steve Schurr, the NWS forecaster, said the winter conditions were a result of a storm system from the west meeting up with moisture from the south. Freezing local temperatures should produce freezing rain and snow, Schurr said.
THE SNOW should end by Saturday, when only light flurries are expected, Edmiston said. High temperatures are expected to be in the low- to mid-30s Saturday and Sunday, and lows are predicted to be in the upper 20s tonight and upper teens Saturday night, Edmiston said.
The storm system moved across the western part of the state overnight, dumping nearly 14 inches of snow by midmorning in Morton County in extreme southwestern Kansas, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol dispatcher.
Liberal and Syracuse reported 10 inches of snow on the ground at 6 a.m., and heavy snow continued falling in the area. Other reports included 9 inches at Garden City and 8 inches at Dodge City.
Schools were closed throughout the southwest part of the state, and some stores in the area of the heaviest snowfall remained closed this morning.
NO MAJOR roads were closed, but the highway patrol and sheriff's offices in southwestern Kansas were advising against unnecessary travel. They said blowing and drifting snow reduced visibility and worsened travel conditions.
The storm started as snow flurries Thursday morning and snow had accumulated up to a depth of about 1 inch by nightfall at Ulysses. Heavy snow developed after dark and continued through the night, spreading northward to cover most of western Kansas and into central and north-central Kansas.
The National Weather Service posted a winter storm warning for western and north-central Kansas and a weather advisory for south-central and northeastern Kansas today. A mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow was expected to spread from south-central to northeastern Kansas during the day.