It was anyone’s guess Saturday afternoon whether Barton County would wake up to a blanket of snow or not. Predictions have ranged from 1-4 inches of snow this weekend in some camps, all the way up to over 12 inches in others. While some will be able to while away the hours inside, enjoying the show from a cozy vantage point, others will be hitting the roads for round two of the holiday period, either heading for home or out to visit friends and relatives to celebrate the upcoming new year.
The National Weather Service at Dodge City for the issued a Winter Storm Watch Saturday, Dec. 26, lasting until 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, for Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Kiowa, Pratt and Stafford counties, stopping just short of Barton County. Snow was expected to begin throughout the area Saturday evening and continue through Monday, with snow and sleet amounts in excess of 6 inches possible. The Snow and sleet was expected to cause slick roads and make for hazardous travel.
Strong north winds at 25 to 35 mph were predicted,even up into Barton County, with gusts up to 45 mph expected, which would reduce visibilities and cause blowing and drifting snow. In Barton County, a rain and snow mix was expected in the afternoon, with areas of blowing snow after 9 p.m.
Sunday includes a 50 percent chance of snow during the day, heavy at times, with areas of blowing snow. Sunday night, snow is likely, continuing to be heavy at times, carrying into Monday. Expect temperatures in the mid-20s with blustery north winds bringing temperatures down into the mid-teens in the afternoon. Snow is expected to stop by Monday night with lows around 12 degrees. For those venturing out today, be prepared for whatever the weather may bring. With snow and ice, the possibility of sliding into gutters or ditches is there, so be sure to bring road salt or kitty litter along for providing traction. A cellphone charger, food and water, and jumper cables are also handy to have on hand in case of dead car batteries, the need to summon help, or surviving the wait for a tow-vehicle. Extra boots, coats or blankets are also good things to have on hand. As always, fill up with gasoline, windshield wiper fluid, and make sure there is an ice scraper handy in the car.