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Weather service upgrades warning status in Hays




mcorn@daily news.net

The National Weather Service in Dodge City has canceled its winter weather advisory for the Hays area, replacing it with a winter storm warning.

The new warning increased the outlook for snow, now forecast at 5 to 8 inches through this evening. As much as an inch of snow could fall each hour, based on the increased threat of snow.

The snow will be accompanied by strong winds, gusting at 15 to 25 mph later this afternoon, reducing visibility to less than half a mile in periods of the heaviest snow.

Winds already were increasing this morning in the Goodland area, where the National Weather Service office reported some blowing and drifting.

The storm upgrade essentially moved the track of the heavier snow to the west, leaving only the western-most counties in a winter weather advisory and a forecast for smaller amounts of snow.

With little more than a forecast of heavy snow, much of the state has closed down for the day.

School districts across much of the state, including Hays USD 489, were closed today in anticipation of the coming storm.

But as morning dawned, only 1 inch of snow had been reported at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at the south edge of Hays.

Colby received 0.1 of an inch of snow.

With the advancing storm system and the forecast of more than 9 inches of snow, Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday ordered executive offices in Topeka closed today. The House and Senate soon followed, and canceled today's session.

The state's Judicial Center across from the Statehouse also closed.