Finger on the Weather

A blizzard and maybe a tornado? It's Friday in Kansas

It's going to be a wild weather day Friday in Kansas.

While residents in the northwest corner of the state are bracing for a blizzard - with hurricane-force winds triggering whiteout conditions - the eastern edge of Kansas will need to prepare for strong thunderstorms.

"All severe hazards are possible, with very large hail and a few tornadoes, one or two of which could be strong," a hazardous weather outlook issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said Thursday.

A slight risk of severe weather extends as far west as the Flint HIlls but does not reach Wichita.

In northwest Kansas, meanwhile, a blizzard warning will be in effect from early Friday afternoon through 7 p.m. Saturday, for Atwood, Goodland, Norton, Colby, Hill City, Hoxie and more than a half-dozen Kansas counties in the region.

Widespread snow totals of 3 to 5 inches are expected, with isolated pockets of higher amounts possible, according to the National Weather Service.

"Travel will be very dangerous to impossible" during the blizzard, with wind gusts up to 80 mph at times, the weather service said.

Snow is expected to spread east on Saturday, with the northern two-thirds of Kansas receiving at least a trace of snow by sometime Saturday. Wichita may see a flurry or two, but no more than that.

"We’re not expecting much for Wichita," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jakub said. "It just looks like we're going to be cold."

Highs on Saturday will only reach the low 40s in the Wichita area, with northwest winds gusting to nearly 40 mph at times.