Recent springlike temperatures have given way to some wintry weather, which is expected to bring rain, snow and unseasonably cold temperatures to the area over the weekend.
Robert Wavrin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka, said that the rain, which began falling about 8 a.m. today, was the result of moist air moving to the west. As the air rises toward the Rocky Mountains, it cools off and can't hold as much water, so the moisture falls in the form of rain or snow, depending on the temperatures, Wavrin said.
Larry Hinson, a forecaster with the Kansas University Weather Service, said this morning that his forecast called for snow to begin falling tonight and accumulate to three to four inches by morning. An additional inch of snow is expected Saturday morning, before snow leaves the forecast Saturday night, Hinson said.
The NWS said snow should be replaced by rain on Monday and Tuesday.
TONIGHT'S LOW temperature is expected to be 27 degrees, and Saturday's high mark is predicted to reach only 31 degrees. The low on Saturday night should dip to 25, and Sunday's high is expected to climb to 45 degrees, Hinson said.
The Lawrence Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff's Department this morning had no weather-related accidents to report.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Highway Patrol reported slick roads about 10:30 a.m. today, but neither agency reported any weather-related accidents.
Turnpike road crews were spreading sand on a thin layer of ice that had built up on the turnpike between Kansas City and Admire, and state crews were sanding various icy spots that developed on state highways. A KHP dispatcher said this morning that bridges and overpasses were slick and that more severe conditions were expected throughout the day and into the night.
Elsewhere in the state, streets and walkways were becoming slick in the Dodge City and Cimarron areas in the southwest, as well as around Goodland and other parts of the northwest.
THE WEATHER service posted a winter storm watch for southern Kansas tonight because of freezing rain and sleet, and said between 1 and 3 inches of snow could accumulate in the northwest and north-central sections by evening.
Forecasters said there was a chance for light snow again Sunday morning, and then a chance for rain on Tuesday. Temperatures will remain cold, with highs in the mid-30s and 40s and lows in the teens northwest to the 20s elsewhere.
Thursday's highs ranged from 67 at Coffeyville to 57 at Concordia and Belleville. The overnight lows varied from 20 at Goodland to 40 at Coffeyville.