Snow and ice headed this way later this week; winter storm watch issued

Winter weather is expected Wednesday.

Think it’s been an easy winter? Don’t be so sure–it’s not over yet.

The National Weather Service is forecasting between six and eight inches of snow, along with sleet, to hit the area beginning Wednesday night and extending into Thursday evening.

Monday afternoon, NWS issued a winter storm watch for much of the area, including Douglas County. The watch is in effect from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday evening. The watch warns of snow-packed roads and ice on trees and power lines, which could lead to power outages.

Shawn Byrne, NWS meteorologist, said the Lawrence area will likely see an “all-snow scenario,” while some areas south of Lawrence — such as Franklin County — could see more ice accumulation.

Traveling conditions will probably be most treacherous Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Byrne said. “Get your traveling done before Wednesday evening,” he said.

A look at the National Weather Service forecast for the coming week.

Temperatures are expected to hover in the high 20s and low 30s through Thursday evening. The snow and rain are expected to clear up by Friday.

The Journal-World was unable to reach Lawrence officials to find out about snow preparation and street-clearing plans because city offices were closed Monday for President’s Day.

Here’s how temperature and precipitation totals for the area stack up in 2013 so far:

• January recorded just less than an inch of precipitation, slightly below the historical average. February, meanwhile, is slightly above average for the month so far, recording .84 inches.

• Average daily temperatures in January 2013 were nearly three degrees above average at 32.6. February’s average temperature of 35.7 is about one degree above average.