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Freezing rain, snow and record low temperatures possible in Wichita area this weekend

Here’s what you need to do to be winter ready

Winter is here and AAA of Kansas has tips to ready your car for snow. Music by bensound.com (Video by Candi Bolden/The Wichita Eagle/ Dec. 6, 2017)
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Winter is here and AAA of Kansas has tips to ready your car for snow. Music by bensound.com (Video by Candi Bolden/The Wichita Eagle/ Dec. 6, 2017)

Weather in the Wichita area and across much of Kansas will be taking a wintry turn over the weekend.

A cold rain may turn into freezing rain and snow on Sunday night while possible record-low temperature may lead to a widespread freeze early next week, National Weather Service forecasters say. Some areas of central Kansas may receive as much as four inches of snow.

Saturday has a 30 percent chance for showers with a high near 55, but the chance of rain increases to 60 percent overnight, forecasters predict. River flooding will continue in many areas throughout the weekend.

A 90 percent chance of precipitation on Sunday will start off as rain with temperatures reaching a high near 44, with a north wind of 15-23 mph, the weather service predicts. But Sunday night will bring a 40 percent chance for precipitation of rain, snow or freezing rain with a low around 31 and winds of 14-21 mph.

Snow accumulations of 1-3 inches are possible along the I-70 corridor of central Kansas, with a rain and snow mix more likely in south central and southeast Kansas, forecasters say. Wichita isn’t expected to have any snowfall accumulation, but forecasters predict 2 inches in Salina and Great Bend and 4 inches in Concordia.

The cold temperatures will continue into a sunny and clear Monday, with a high near 45 and a low around 28, NWS predictions say. A widespread freeze is possible for much of the area next week with cold temperatures that could potentially break records.

Any measurable snowfall this weekend in Wichita would set a record. NWS data for maximum snowfall at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport show no measurable snowfall has been recorded this early in October since record keeping began in 1888.

The earliest recorded autumn snowfall in Wichita was two-tenths of an inch on Oct. 22, 1996, NWS records show.

Chilly temperatures on Sunday and Monday will have a potential to set weather service records.

For Sunday, the predicted high of 44 would set a record for the coolest high-temperature for Oct. 14. The record is 45, set in 1937. The forecast low of 31 wouldn’t break the record low of 30 set in 1969.

Monday’s forecast high of 45 would break the record for coolest high-temperature for Oct. 15, set at 52 in 2009. The predicted low of 28 would be colder than the 33 set in 1974.

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