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Blizzard watch for much of Kansas – including Wichita – on Christmas Eve

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for 40 counites in Kansas from Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon, stretching from the Colorado line to the Wichita area.

Among the Kansas cities included in the blizzard watch are Dodge City, Garden City, Larned, Great Bend, Lyons, McPherson, Hutchinson, Wellington, Newton, Salina, Ellsworth, Wakeeney and Liberal.

Rain will change to snow in western and central Kansas on Wednesday and in the Wichita area on Thursday morning.

“The worse conditions are going to be earlier up north and later as you go south,” said Mary-Beth Schreck, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wichita.

Snowfall totals at this point look like they will range from 3 to 6 inches throughout the Wichita area, Schreck said. Sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph can be expected, with gusts higher than that. Forecasters say “significant accumulations” are possible in central and southwestern Kansas.

“You can have only about an inch of snow on the ground and you can get whiteout conditions,” Schreck said.

Stay tuned for updated forecasts.