Rain and snow return to KAKEland

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A large, upper level storm system has brought a mixed bag of precipitation to KAKEland. While the majority of the precipitation has been rain across the state, some communities in Western Kansas have seen freezing rain and snow that is leading to slippery road conditions including road closures. 

Saturday Night

Cold air will spread across the state Saturday night. Accumulating snow, via moderate to heavy snow showers, is likely tonight along and North of Interstate 70, mainly in Northwest and parts of North Central Kansas. 


Early Sunday morning will see a brief break, then another small wave of light snow will swing through the state Sunday afternoon and into the evening. More light accumulations are possible along and north of I-70. Light flurries will be possible in and around Wichita but no snow accumulation is expected. 

By far the heaviest snow totals when it is all said and done will be in Northwest and parts of North Central Kansas where 2-5" of accumulation will be possible from Rawlins to Jewel counties. Totals of 1-3" are expected along I-70 from the Kansas Colorado state line east through Mankato.

While snowfall totals are not expected to be overly high, travel could be quite treacherous at times, particularly through Sunday. Blowing snow in Northwest Kansas could reduce visibility and create some drifting. Near-blizzard conditions may be present along and north of US-36. Numerous power outages will be possible thanks to the wind and iced-over power lines.  A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through 11 AM MST Sunday.

Overall rainfall with this system was very impressive for December standards. The image below is Radar Estimated Rainfall Accumulation for the last 36 hours. The areas in light blue/cyan picked up about 0.2" to 0.7". Areas in green/blue accumulated over 1" and spots in green/yellow picked up nearly 2"! 

Some communities picked up more rain with this system than expected for the month of December. In fact, several rainfall records were tied and broken Friday in Southwest Kansas. 

City New Record Rainfall Old Record Year
Dodge City 0.86" 0.4" 1979
Garden City 0.09" 0.09" 1979
Medicine Lodge 0.09" 0.09" 1979

Mixed precipitation winter forecasts are particularly fickle creatures and should be monitored closely. Slight changes in air temperature can lead to significant changes regarding precipitation type and accumulation. This forecast will evolve and travelers should pay close attention especially those headed across Western Kansas.

We’ll keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. With the app you can track storms in your area, stream the latest forecast videos and live severe weather coverage, and set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.

Check Wichita road conditions at WichWay.org and check road conditions across the state at KanDrive.org.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.