Kansas City sees spring transform into winter weather - KCTV5 News

Kansas City sees spring transform into winter weather

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A person walks along Jayhawk Boulevard with an umbrella as snow from a winter storm begins to fall in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, March 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) A person walks along Jayhawk Boulevard with an umbrella as snow from a winter storm begins to fall in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, March 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Few signs of spring are being found in parts of the Midwest as a snowstorm tracks mostly along Interstate 70, bringing heavy snow and high winds.

The National Weather Service said parts of Colorado and northwest Kansas saw 10 to 15 inches of snow Saturday, and southwestern Nebraska had up to 7 inches. Winds gusting at speeds of up to 45 mph created snow drifts of 2 to 3 feet in the three states, said Ryan Husted, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Goodland, Kan.

"We have pretty much cleared out. Sunny skies. It's starting to melt a little bit," Husted said Sunday.

But points eastward weren't as lucky as the system moved on. Winter storm warnings and advisories have been issued for Sunday and Monday as far east as Pennsylvania.

The storm dumped 7 to 9 inches of snow from eastern Kansas into central Missouri before tapering off Sunday morning, Dan Hawblitzel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in suburban Kansas City, said.

However, there was no cause for college basketball fans in Kansas City to be concerned, as the snow didn't affect the NCAA men's tournament schedule.

"The snow is not an issue," said Wynn Butler, 62, of Manhattan, Kan., who was in town with his daughter, a University of Kansas graduate, to watch her alma mater take on North Carolina.

He said his car is a parking garage and he can walk from his hotel to the Sprint Center. Butler also figures the roads will be clear before they leave after the game, which was scheduled to start late Sunday afternoon.

"We are right in between the bad weather," he said.

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Crews were at the Sprint Center are working hard to clear a path for the thousands of fans heading downtown Sunday afternoon for the basketball championships.  About 30 people are out clearing the sidewalks Sunday morning since 3:30 a.m. 

Many of them spent the night to be ready bright and early Sunday morning.  When Kansas City put in a bid to host the regional at the Sprint Center, they had to submit an emergency plan.

An area spokeswoman says, so far, their plan is working.

"When the forecast turned for the worst, we prepared by getting the heavy moving equipment. We scheduled out guys and made sure thy were able to spend the night in the arena so they could get here and get moving," said Shani Tate, spokeswoman at the arena.

North Carolina and Kansas will play in the third round of NCAA tournament at 4:15 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

Kansas City officials implemented phases I and II of the snow ordinance on Sunday.

Under the ordinance, motorists parked on assigned emergency snow routes could face the possibility of being ticketed or towed. Also, vehicles without adequate tire tread that get stuck on a major thoroughfare can be ticketed.

In residential areas, motorists are asked to park vehicles off-street if possible. If a vehicle must park on-street, the following parking practice is being requested:

  • On streets that run north/south, please park on the west side of the street.
  • On streets that run east/west, please park on the north side of the street.

Parking vehicles off-street during snow plow operations greatly enhances the ability of snow plows to remove snow, especially in cul-de-sacs, dead ends and narrow streets.

City officials are also asking that residents minimize travel.

Snow began to fall in earnest in St. Louis and western Illinois on Sunday morning. St. Louis is forecast to see accumulations of 8 to 10 inches and Illinois 6 to 9 inches, Hawblitzel said. The storm also was brushing northern Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Forecasters predict that the storm will arrive in Indiana late Sunday afternoon and into night, dumping 6 to 10 inches of snow. The system then will move into Ohio on Sunday night, bringing between 5 to 9 inches, Hawblitzel said.

The storm is expected to weaken as it moves into Pennsylvania late Sunday and into Monday, with totals ranging from 3 to 8 inches. Before it exits off the coast of New Jersey on Monday night, the storm could leave 1 to 3 inches in southern New York and New Jersey.

"It's definitely a wide-hitting system," Hawblitzel said.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  and The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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