Archive for Friday, March 27, 2009

Baldwin City included in winter storm watch

March 27, 2009

Winter is returning for one last blast.

First there was rain Thursday, then snow on Saturday, 6News meteorologist Craig Gold said. Today’s temperature will reach a high of only 39 degrees, he predicted.

“It’s going to be a chilly, on-and-off showery scenario for Friday,” he said.

A winter storm watch issued by the National Weather Service in Topeka went into effect Thursday night and will continue through Saturday evening in much of northeastern Kansas.

The storm should be out of Baldwin City and the area sometime Saturday afternoon, but it could leave anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of snow on the ground, Gold said.

In addition to Douglas County, the watch affects these counties: Shawnee, Jefferson, Franklin, Riley, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Wabaunsee, Lyon, Osage, Coffey and Anderson. In addition to Baldwin City, these cities are in the watch area: Lawrence, Manhattan, Topeka, Ottawa and Emporia.

For areas along and south of Interstate 35, sleet or freezing rain also could fall.

Snow amounts elsewhere in the watch area will vary, according to the weather service. It’s possible that up to a foot of snow could accumulate in western Kansas.

Thursday night, the temperature fell and it will eventually start the changeover from rain to snow, Gold said.

“At some point, it is going to change to all snow, and when that happens depends on how much snow we will get,” he said. “It could be a heavy, wet snow.”

Temperatures on Sunday will likely be in the upper 30s, but the amount of snow on the ground also will have an effect on the high, Gold said.

“The snow should melt pretty quickly,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to stick around very long.”

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is urging Kansans to prepare for these dangerous weather conditions.

“It is absolutely critical to have an emergency kit in your home that allows you to stay safe during power outages,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, director of KDEM and Kansas adjutant general. “This needs to include bottled water, nonperishable food, medications, blankets and flashlights.

“If you plan to travel over the next several days, make sure you have an emergency kit with you and plenty of gas in your vehicle’s gas tank in case you become stranded or delayed,” Bunting said. “If possible, change your travel plans to avoid the storm.”

Kansans may monitor road conditions by calling 511 or going to http://511.ksdot.org. If outside the state, call 866-511-5368 to get local road conditions.

Here are some items to include in a home emergency supply kit:

• Water: One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.

• Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person.

• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.

• Flashlight and extra batteries.

• First-aid kit.

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.

• Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food).

• Local maps.

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