Now is the time to take care of errands and buy supplies, says state climatologist Mary Knapp. That’s because heavy snow is expected Wednesday night and Thursday, with accumulation of as much as 12 inches.
“People should look for their winter weather plans to prepare, take care of errands, make sure they have enough supplies on hand,” Knapp said.
If it holds to its predicted course, the storm is expected to hit here Wednesday night and could last into Thursday night.
There’s always the chance the storm could move.
If it does, the amount and even the nature of the precipitation could vary. Various weather services have speculated that the snowfall could be as little as an inch or two, while others warn it could be a foot.
“This particular storm is going to be really interesting,” Knapp said. “One of the trickiest parts will be trying to predict what type of precipitation will fall and when it will change.”
The current snow advisory is set to affect the entire state of Kansas, except for three counties in the far south, with snow falling at an inch per hour during the storm’s peak. Combine heavy snowfall with the predicted high winds and visibility will go from very poor to non-existent very quickly.
“Depending on the storm’s development, traveling will be hazardous,” Knapp said. “There could be icy roads and a possibility of power outages with accumulating freezing rain on power lines.”
If the storm turns out to be as bad as meteorologists are saying, it will be the biggest to hit Manhattan this winter. The two most recent severe February storms were in 2004 and 2011.
The 2004 storm brought 8 inches of snow to the area; the 2011 storm brought about 6 inches of snow and freezing rain that left several thousand without power and limited visibility to less than an eighth of a mile.
“Even if we don’t get the 8 to 12 inches, any snowfall will make visibility very low and fast changing,” she said.
In anticipation of bad weather, some organizations had already begun adjusting plans that had been set for Wednesday or Thursday night. K-State sports teams also adjusted travel plans, looking to leave town before the snow hit.