Kansas officials bracing for an early snow

As of midday Thursday, forecasters were projecting up to 2 inches of snow for Wichita.
As of midday Thursday, forecasters were projecting up to 2 inches of snow for Wichita. File photo

State officials are gearing up for what could be one of the heaviest mid-November snowfalls in more than 50 years for parts of Kansas.

Measurable snow is expected Saturday over a substantial portion of the Sunflower State, including Wichita. Locations north of U.S. 54 could see 2 to 4 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Points south of U.S. 54 could see a trace to 2 inches of snow. As of midday Thursday, forecasters were projecting up to 2 inches for Wichita.

“These amounts could shift and change with the upcoming forecasts,” said Vanessa Pearce, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch of the weather service.

Mike Smith, an executive vice president for AccuWeather, said he also is projecting a trace to 2 inches for Wichita. But computer forecast models are indicating the storm system will have tight gradients, meaning locations close to each other geographically could have very different accumulations.

Harvey County just north of Wichita, for instance, could see 5 inches of snow on Saturday, he said.

If Wichita receives even 3 inches of snow on Saturday, weather officials say, it will be the most snow to fall on the city in early November since more than 7 inches fell on Nov. 5, 1959.

While Wichita occasionally receives snow in late November, the date of the average first snow is Dec. 2.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management on Thursday urged Kansans to plan ahead if they have to be outside this weekend and to make sure home and auto emergency kits are stocked with items for winter.

“We’ve already experienced bitter temperatures,” Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said in a statement. “Try to limit your time outside. If you must go out to shovel snow or other reasons, dress appropriately and take frequent warming breaks.”

Home emergency kits should contain supplies for every member of the family for a minimum of three days, including bottled water (one gallon per person per day), nonperishable foods, flashlights, batteries, blankets, medications, children’s items, games and pet food.

Vehicle emergency kits should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a cellphone charger, hand-warmers, high-energy food snacks, bottled water, necessary medications, a snow shovel, flares and other emergency supplies.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

For more information

For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, go to www.ksready.gov.

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