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Arctic blast hits northwest Kansas





An arctic air mass was expected to invade Kansas Saturday evening, bringing frigid temperatures in the area through Monday.

While some portions of the state were part of a winter weather advisory Saturday, Hays was expected to miss most of the snow, with approximately 1 inch of accumulation expected.

Instead, the main concern locally is dangerous wind chill indexes.

"The main story for (Hays) is Monday morning, when high pressure settles in, the arctic air has a firm grip over the area," said Kelly Sugden, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Dodge City, Saturday afternoon.

"We do have a little bit of wind through the overnight hours into Monday morning. That could create wind chills as low as minus 20."

With wind chill readings that low, exposed skin could suffer frostbite in just 30 minutes of exposure, Sugden said.

Sugden said people should stay inside, if at all possible.

"Really, not go outside," he said. "If they do, dress in layers. If you're traveling, don't prepare for the temperature inside the car; prepare for the temperature outside."

The farther north, the colder it will be, Sugden said.

"Records, particularly up north, are in jeopardy," he said.

"Up in the Dakotas, they'll have wind chills around minus 60. Frostbite can set in as quick as five minutes."

The cold weather is expected to leave as quickly as it came.

"The low temperature for (Hays) Monday morning is about minus 3," Sugden said.

"Monday, we'll have highs in the teens, but by Tuesday, with a bit of southwest flow, we'll probably be in the upper 30s.

"It's not a prolonged event."