UPDATE: Tuesday, December 20, 2011
More than a foot of snow has fallen in western Kansas.
The snow and gusty winds could make pre-holiday travel nearly impossible in the Great Plains.
Snowfall totals include;
15 inches 10 miles southeast of Scott City
14 inches Victoria
12 inches Elkhart
11.5 inches 5 miles ENE of Victoria
11.5 inches 10 miles south of Collyer
10 inches La Crosse
10 inches Johnson City
Reports of 3 foot tall drifts are common in the area.
Shelters were opened in hunting lodges and a church in Haskell County for stranded motorists while the roadways were closed.
Meade County opened up an emergency medical services building for motorists due to the Cimarron Bridge around Arkalon Park between Kismet and Haynes being impassable.
Many school districts have canceled classes for the day. For the latest list, click here.
Finney County Sheriff Kevin Bascue told KAKE News this morning driving conditions in that area of the state were poor, with even emergency responders in four-wheel drive vehicles finding themselves stuck in the snow. The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed several highways in the western part of the State. For the latest road conditions, click here.
UPDATE: Monday, December 19, 2011
A winter storm packing heavy snow and high wind has been spreading slowly into north-central Kansas after creating whiteout conditions in west-central and southwestern parts of the state.
The National Weather Service says heavy, drifting snow was reported around 7 p.m. Monday in the Lincoln County town of Sylvan Grove, about 40 miles west of Salina near Interstate 70.
The Kansas Department of Transportation reported no road closings of 7:30 p.m. But conditions were poor on many highways as 5 or more inches of snow piled up in the southwest and west-central areas.
Law enforcement stayed busy around Salina Monday afternoon with slide-off accidents on rural roads as well as I-70 and I-135.
Nearly all of western Kansas except the far northwest is under a blizzard warning.
Monday, December 19, 2011
A Blizzard Warning is in effect for portions of Southwest Kansas, including Dodge City and Garden City. The combination of accumulating snow and gusty winds could cause travel problems.
The Kansas Department of Transportation reports I-70 is snowpacked in the Hays and Russell areas. KAKE's Alicia Myers reported seeing several vehicles that slid off the highways.
US 50 west of Garden City and US 83 north of Garden City were reported snowpacked Monday afternoon.
A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for much of Central Kansas including Hutchinson, Great Bend, and Salina for the potential of accumulating snowfall Monday into Tuesday.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Wichita and surrounding areas with the possibility of light snow accumulations Monday night into Tuesday. KAKEland Managing Meteorologist Jay Prater said Wichita and areas south and east of the Kansas Turnpike, will get a total of 0 to 1" inch of accumulation. However some light freezing rain and/or sleet is possible in these areas Tuesday.
Areas near Garden City, Dodge City, Elkhart, and Liberal could see up to one foot of snow by Tuesday afternoon.
Northwest Kansas could pick up anywhere between one to four inches of snow with higher amounts near WaKeeney, Hays, and Oakley.
North Central Kansas will see total snow accumulations around one to four inches with higher amounts near Russell and Great Bend.
Travel could become difficult Monday afternoon through Tuesday, especially for Southwest Kansas where winds will be gusting over 35mph.
The Kansas Department of Transportation and state emergency
management staffs were monitoring the storm and preparing to clear
roads, as necessary. No shelters have been established as of Monday morning.
For the latest on road conditions, including highway cameras in Kansas
For weather information when you want it
check out kakelandweathernow.com
Send your weather pictures and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meteorologists Ben Pringle, and Jay Prater will keep you up to date as this winter storm moves through KAKEland.