Storm Track 3 Forecast: Ringing in the new year with a winter storm and frigid temperatures this weekend

Kansas and Wichita Weather Forecasts by Storm Track 3

Our winter storm is beginning to gather organization to our west. Winter Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in place across the state starting at midnight tonight and lingering for some through midnight Sunday.

Messaging remains the same, areas farther north will deal with more snow from this system while areas farther south and east will have freezing rain and sleet to contend with before a transition to snow on Saturday.

Temperatures tonight will fall into the single digits and teens for many. The coldest temperatures will rest across northwestern Kansas tonight.

One thing we have noticed since last night is a general shift south with our icing potential — that is not to say that icing will not be a large factor for southcentral Kansas and the Wichita area! The corridor for higher freezing rain totals looks to sit southeast of the Turnpike with more sleet likely farther north and west. This combination of freezing rain and sleet will still lead to slick travel conditions on area roadways from southwestern to central and eastern Kansas Saturday morning with blowing and drifting snow concerns for portions of northern and western Kansas.

Elevated surfaces will be the first to ice over as road temperatures drop through the overnight. Freezing rain accumulations of a trace to 0.1″ look likely for areas generally along HWY 400 northeastward along the Turnpike with 0.1″ to 0.2″ across our far southeastern counties. Sleet accumulations could range from 0.2″ to 0.5″.

Snowfall totals as a result will be minimal compared to areas farther north and west as this system will start with rain slowly changing over to ice prior to sunrise Saturday. Parts of northern and western Kansas will tap into a corridor of locally higher snowfall amounts that could exceed 5″ of snowfall.

The timing will be crucial to monitor especially for folks that are out and about celebrating the new year tonight.

Rain for southcentral into southwestern Kansas could start as early as 9PM with this system starting to come together closer to midnight.

Rain will eventually transition to freezing rain and sleet across southwestern into central Kansas as snow fills in farther north and west.

By midday Saturday most of the mixed wintry precipitation will be east of the KSN viewing area as snow showers slowly clear the area west to east Saturday evening.

As the heavier snowfall tracks eastward, spotty snow showers will continue for portions of southern and central Kansas into Saturday night.

Temperatures on the other side of a cold front will be bitterly cold. Winds will turn back out of the north and could gust upwards of 40 MPH. This wind will usher in much colder air as temperatures steadily fall through the overnight and continue the trend throughout the day on Saturday. Our temperature will be higher at sunrise than where we conclude the day at sunset for most.

Gusty winds will lead to wind chill factors well below 0° for many.

Wind Chill Advisories are in effect for parts of Kansas until noon on Saturday.

Frigid air temperatures with some locations below 0° will be likely Sunday morning before a gradual warming trend begins into the upcoming work week. A midweek cold front will reset temperatures to wintry standards and will provide some across northern Kansas with a brief opportunity for snow Thursday.

— Meteorologist Erika Paige

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KSN Storm Track 3 Weather

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