Game day will be a snowy day for Wichita on Saturday, forecasters say, and that will be just the opening act for a wintry weekend in the area.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain are all on the menu at various times into Monday, forecasters say. A wide band of 4 to 6 inches is projected for a large swatch of the state, particularly along the I-70 corridor into eastern Kansas.
Wichita, meanwhile, could see 1 to 4 inches.
“It doesn’t look like a major storm for the Wichita area,” said Brian Knopick, a meteorologist for AccuWeather in Wichita.
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State officials urged Kansans to prepare for the winter storm.
“The entire state will see accumulating snow,” according to a statement released by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.
Light snow will begin in Wichita shortly after dawn on Saturday, accumulating as fans converge on Koch Arena for ESPN’s Game Day at 10 a.m. and then the showdown between Northern Iowa and Wichita State for the Missouri Valley Conference title at 1 p.m.
“It’ll be all snow at the onset, and continuing as snow probably through, it looks like, at least late Saturday into early Sunday morning,” Knopick said.
An inch or two could fall during the day Saturday, National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Darmofal said.
“It’s not going to make it where you can’t get anywhere, but you definitely want to leave some extra time” to reach your destination, he said. Later Sunday, sleet and freezing rain will mix with snow, continuing into Monday.
“It doesn’t look like a power-lines-down, ice-storm type of thing, but it will cause travel problems,” Darmofal said of the freezing rain.
Temperatures may climb above freezing for a while Sunday, meaning any precipitation that falls would be rain, he said.
“We’re going to have lulls in there – several lulls,” Darmofal said.
Forecast models disagree about what Monday offers, he said. One hints at temperatures warm enough to let precipitation fall as rain, while another indicates temperatures low enough to produce snow.
“It’s kind of a messy forecast, and it could turn out to be a mess on the roads,” Darmofal said.
Cold temperatures and chances for snow will linger through Wednesday, he said.