The snow and winds will let up a bit today, but blowing snow could still pose a danger on roads around Wichita and across south-central Kansas.
"It's tough for road crews to keep things clear when you've got this snow blowing around as much as it has," said Chris Jakub, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.
Wichita area residents should find some Christmas relief, however, from a deadly winter storm that brought in bitter cold and treacherous roads on Thursday.
The National Weather Service forecasters called for an end to snow in Wichita by this morning, with light flurries possible later today.
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Winds are expected to be 22-26 mph, with gusts up to 30-36 mph. Thursday's winds reached 41 mph with gusts surpassing 50 mph.
"There will be some snow blowing but not nearly as much as today," Jakub said Thursday night.
Today's high temperature is expected to reach 23 with wind chills as low as 7 below zero.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. today.
Thursday's combination of snow, strong winds and slick roads virtually shut down some areas of the state, particularly northeast Kansas.
It led to the cancellation of some flights at Mid-Continent Airport and caused crashes on the roads, some deadly.
"This is an extremely dangerous situation we are facing, and everyone should heed these warnings," Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, state adjutant general, said while warning people not to travel after 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Gov. Mark Parkinson closed state offices in the Topeka area early Thursday, telling workers they could leave by 3 p.m.
Spokeswoman Beth Martino says Parkinson acted to keep employees safe, as freezing rain and sleet gave way to snow around Topeka. Topeka police said they'd seen more than a dozen accidents by afternoon.
Slick roads claimed the lives of seven people across the state this week, five on Tuesday.
Wichita awoke Thursday to a light glaze of ice, then snow later in the day.
Strong winds sharply reduced visibility at times, and crashes on Kellogg and other highways were common around the city.
The westbound lanes near 151st Street West were shut down Thursday morning because of debris from a collision and again in the evening due a multiple-car accident. Police warned drivers of zero visibility in the area.
Visibility was near or at zero during periods of heavy snowfall Thursday afternoon, said National Weather Service meteorologist Mary-Beth Schreck.
The Kansas Highway Patrol said two injuries were reported in separate accidents on I-235 when people lost control of their vehicles. One woman was taken to the hospital.
At least seven flights were canceled at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, and the Emergency Accident Reporting Plan is in effect inside the city limits.
The weather service predicted 1 to 2 inches of snow for Wichita and 4 inches for El Dorado, with higher amounts east of the Flint Hills.
Some areas of northeast Kansas could wake up this morning to a foot of snow, forecasters said.
Several churches around the state canceled Christmas Eve services.
First United Methodist Church of Valley Center canceled its 9 p.m. service but not its 4:30 p.m. service, pastor Dennis Livingston said.
It was the first time Livingston has had to cancel a Christmas Eve service in nearly 20 years at the church, Livingston said.
"And that includes 11 years out in western Kansas where this sort of thing is more common," he said.