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Flights, Wichita schools canceled as blizzard approaches

WICHITA — There will be no classes for Wichita schools Tuesday. And three airlines have already canceled flights tonight into Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport as a potent winter storm bears down on the metropolitan area.

AirTran, American Airlines and Continental Airlines have all canceled flights in anticipation of a storm that is expected to deliver blizzard conditions to Wichita and southeast Kansas on Tuesday.

"We will see blizzard conditions for some period," said Tyler Harmon, a meteorologist for the private forecasting service WeatherData.

Snow is expected to begin falling before the morning commute Tuesday and continue throughout the day, with north winds blowing steadily at more than 25 miles an hour. Gusts will frequently top 40 miles an hour, said Chance Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

"It's going to be brutal" outside on Tuesday, Harmon said.

Forecasters agree that southeast Kansas is going to be pummeled by this storm, with snowfall estimates as high as 20 inches and winds regularly topping 40 miles an hour.

"It'll be a blizzard like they haven't seen in many years in southeast Kansas," Harmon said.

Hayes said authorities should discourage all travel in southeast Kansas on Tuesday, adding that conditions will be "dangerous."

Emporia State University canceled classes for the day at 3 p.m. Monday, and more cancellations are anticipated.

Wind chills are expected to be below zero throughout the day Tuesday, forecasters said.

Check Kansas.com for updates.

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