Wichita-area weather forecast: Ice, then snow, then brutal wind chills

An icy glaze up to a quarter-inch thick is expected to make Monday's morning commute to work treacherous.

Weather forecasters predict a light freezing drizzle will fall through the morning and taper off by afternoon.

But then things could get really bad.Snow is expected to fall late Monday night through Tuesday night — six to eight inches in the Wichita area and nine to 14 inches in southeastern Kansas.

That will be followed by extreme cold and high winds.

Lows are expected to plunge to the single digits in Wichita on Tuesday night. Winds of 30 to 40 mph will produce wind chills of 10 to 20 below zero.

The Wichita area is under a winter storm watch through Wednesday morning.

"Once we start to issue the warnings, our confidence is pretty high this will happen," said Mick McGuire, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

"The brunt of the heavier snow and strong winds will be in the Wichita area and points east, along the turnpike," McGuire said. "(Monday's) commute could be dicey — could be a little slick."

Snow accumulations of four to five inches are more likely in the western half of the state, particularly west of I-135; one to three inches are expected in far western Kansas.

Heavy and drifting snow is expected to create near-blizzard to blizzard conditions through much of the state on Tuesday, McGuire said.

"With the wind, this could have a pretty serious impact," McGuire said.