First Snow for Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka

November 01, 2011; 3:12 PM
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A quick-hitting Rockies snowstorm will move out onto the Plains Wednesday spreading the first snow of the season into Kansas City, Wichita and Topeka, as well as rural areas and smaller towns in between.

As a storm heads out of the Rockies with snow in Colorado and Wyoming, a chilly rain will develop in a corridor from Kansas through eastern Nebraska and much of Iowa into early Wednesday.

Rain will spread farther east into northern Oklahoma and much of Missouri throughout the day Wednesday.

As the storm continues to track east and colder air filters in, rain will mix with and change to snow near and north of the storm center.

According to Midwest Weather Expert Rob Miller, "A change to snow is forecast for Topeka and Wichita during the afternoon rush hour. The changeover to snow is forecast for Kansas City toward evening."

While we aren't expecting nearly the accumulations in these Plains cities like we are in Denver, the early November snowflakes will be a shock for many.

"It is possible a couple of inches of snow accumulates on grassy areas and car tops from central Kansas to northwestern Missouri," Miller said.

Other cities that can receive a dash of snow include Omaha and Des Moines.

On average, Dodge City and Kansas City receive less than a half of an inch of snow for the entire month of November.

The good news for these cities, as was the case for Denver a week ago, is that it's early in the season, and the roads are relatively warm in the wake of mild temperatures.

A lot of the snow will melt as it falls, but if the snow comes down heavy for a time in any of these cities, it can quickly lead to slick roadways and treacherous travel.

That is not to say there will be no disruptions to travel. Commuters can still expect a slower than normal go along the Kansas Turnpike, I-80, I-70 and I-35 Wednesday and should allow extra time to get home from work and other activities.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "South of the storm track, strong winds can create problems for high-profile vehicles from the southern Plains to California with the storm."

The strong winds will also raise the wildfire danger in the same areas from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

"Motorists should be especially careful in crosswind areas, through canyons and over the passes along I-10, I-20 and I-40," Sosnowski said.

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