Ice pellets and a trace of snow combined to make for treacherous conditions in the Manhattan area Thursday morning.
“Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring,” K-State climatologist Mary Knapp said. “Mother Nature wants to get winter in before that happens.”
Knapp said 0.21 inches of precipitation fell in the Manhattan area, mostly in the form of ice pellets. Knapp said a combination of drier air and colder temperatures spared Manhattan from icing that happened in southeast Kansas.
The winter storm also included thunder and lightning, which Knapp said isn’t unusual in Kansas.
“We usually have it a least every couple of years,” she said. “It’s certainly not a one-in-20-year event.”
Knapp said some people reported hail, but it was unlikely that occurred. She said that it was probably “grapple” — frozen snow — or ice pellets that sounded like hail hitting rooftops.
There’s another chance of winter weather early next week, Knapp said. There’s a 40 percent chance of snow late Sunday into Monday, followed by a 60 percent chance of precipitation on Monday night, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
Road crews had treated most of the main roads in Manhattan by 7 a.m. Thursday and started working on side streets, according to a report from the city.
USD 383 canceled classes because of the weather. Most area schools, including Junction City, Riley, Rock Creek and Wamego, weren’t open Thursday. The Riley County Seniors’ Service Center also was closed.
Fort Riley had soldiers and civilian personnel report on a two-hour delay. K-State operated on its normal schedule Thursday.