Heaviest snowfall hits northwest Kansas; Wichita area may see 4 inches overnight

03/23/2013 2:12 PM

03/23/2013 6:10 PM

South-central Kansas escaped the worst of a snowstorm that began moving across the Midwest on Saturday, but forecasters were predicting that up to 4 inches of snow could be on the ground by Sunday morning.

The snowy conditions in Colorado and northwest Kansas forced the closing of I-70 west of Colby on Saturday, and 14 inches were on the ground in Goodland by Saturday afternoon.

National Weather Service meteorologist Vanessa Pearce said 0.3 inches fell in Wichita before noon Saturday, but most of it melted as temperatures remained above freezing throughout the afternoon. She said the heaviest snowfall would come late Saturday night and early Sunday morning as temperatures were expected to dip into the 20s.

The 24.5 inches of snow that fell in Wichita before this weekend ensured that the city would receive more than an average amount of snow this winter, but the city is far from reaching the record 39.7 inches of snow that fell during the winter of 1911 and 1912, she said.

Pearce said it would probably be Thursday or Friday before temperatures in Wichita climb back to 60 degrees, which is considered normal for this time of year.

In Kansas, the heaviest snowfall on Saturday occurred north of I-70, and the storm threatened to inconvenience fans attending the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Kansas City.

Forecasters were predicting 6 to 10 inches of snow in the Kansas City area, but NCAA basketball officials said teams and officials were in the area, and that no game delays were anticipated.

Contributing: Associated Press

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