A low pressure zone slid just south of Lawrence on Monday, sucking snow and frigid Canadian air to the area. Winter has returned.
"Oh, at least for a couple of days," said Greg Lehenbauer, a forecaster for the Kansas University Weather Service. "Probably by the weekend, we'll be in the upper 40s."
Meanwhile, clearing skies will make it even colder tonight, he said, with a low around 3 degrees. The record low for Feb. 17 is minus 11 degrees, recorded in 1903.
"Whatever heat is here will radiate straight into space," Lehenbauer said.
The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies Wednesday, a chance of flurries, a high of 17, and north winds from 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday night, temperatures should drop to about 10 with north winds from 5 to 10 mph.
Four inches of snow had fallen by this morning, the KU service reported.
Lawrence schools were closed today, the third day this winter. The district is allowed four snow days, so students will not have the day tacked on to the end of the school year.
City and county road crews have been busy sanding and plowing roads.
Tom Orzulak, city street maintenance manager, said crews began treating the streets with sand when the snow began about 11 a.m. Monday.
All primary and secondary routes were clear by about 6 a.m. today, he said, and crews began plowing residential areas shortly after 11 a.m.
Unless more snow falls, Orzulak said all streets should be clear by midnight.
David Rinke, a street maintenance supervisor with Douglas County Public Works, said all county roads were open. He said a thin layer of packed snow remains on some county roads.
"With the sun coming out like it is, they should be in pretty good shape by evening," he said.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Kansas Highway Patrol reported that the turnpike and all highways are open. However, most are covered by packed snow, slush and some ice. Crews are plowing and sanding.