Archive for Monday, December 6, 1999

WINTER FINALLY REARS ITS HEAD

December 6, 1999

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There could be another chance of snow in the area by Thursday as the weather pattern is changing to one that will bring more wintry conditions, a forecaster said.

The first snow of the season, which fell early Sunday, caused several accidents in the area, but none with serious injuries, authorities said.

"They had a bunch (Sunday) morning, but they were all noninjury," said a Douglas County Sheriff's dispatcher.

Officially, Lawrence received 1 1/2 inches of snow, said Mick McGuire, weather lab manager at Kansas University.

Other areas west, southwest and northwest received up to a foot of snow, said Steve Kays, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka.

There were 4 to 8 inches in the Topeka area, and 8 to 10 inches in southeastern Jackson County, he said.

"The further east you get, it really drops off," he said of the amounts.

Kays said the snowfall amounts varied, depending on where the heaviest bands of snow occurred.

The storm began with cold rain, which eventually turned to ice pellets and snow, he said.

Kays said the system was the first of several storms that may move through the area in the next few weeks as part of a changing weather pattern.

"We've been so unseasonably mild, and now we're getting more of a wintry pattern," he said.

"This is just the first indicator of what's going on with the change in the pattern. Basically, the pattern is changing to one that looks like it's going to be a little more unsettled "with storms coming in every four to six days."

He said another such storm with rain and snow could arrive by Thursday, and another by the end of next weekend.

"Of course, it's difficult to say exactly where, but certainly eastern Kansas and the eastern Plains are going to see more of a winterlike pattern."

Lows this morning were expected to bottom out in the teens.

Highs this week were to be in the 40s and 50s, he said.

"You'll lose your snow, if not (Sunday) then (today)," Kays said.

Lows for the rest of the week should be in the upper-20s to low-30s, he said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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