The coldest and most winter-like weather so far this season is expected to arrive in Southeast Kansas over the weekend.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Griffin said temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-teens by Saturday night with daytime highs Sunday only getting into the 20-degree range.
"We're expecting an Arctic air front to arrive Saturday as rain (which) could possibly change to snow in some parts of the region," Griffin said. "This should be the coldest weather we're seen so far this season with the best chance of an accumulation of snow."
Some parts of the region are expected to get as much as 2-inches, he said.
"If we get an accumulation of snow then temperatures could drop even more because the snow cover helps keep temperatures from rising," Griffin said. "The wind chill on Saturday night could get close to zero."
Prior to the arrival of potential snow and colder temperatures, he said area residents should expect light rain during the day Friday with some heavier rain on Friday night.
"By Friday night we could have some rumbles of thunder," Griffin said. While colder temperatures and snow are in the forecast for the weekend, he said the exact location for snowfall could vary widely depending on the timing of the arrival of the Arctic front.
"We're advising people to keep up with the forecast because it easily could change," he said.
By early next week weather conditions are expected to return to more seasonable norms, Griffin said.
Pittsburg Director of Public Utilities Matt Bacon said he is hoping the worst of the possible winter weather bypasses the city. But if it does hit, the city has a plan and will tackle the issue.
"We have a policy manual set up for these situations and have crews on standby," Bacon said.
The city coordinates its weather related response with Kansas Department of Transportation.
"We take direction from KDOT and they're good about keeping us notified if something is coming our way," Bacon said.
If an accumulation of snow does stick on city streets then crews will be out targeting the main arterial streets first with snowplows.
Those more heavily traveled streets include Fourth, Broadway, Centennial, a portion of the U.S. 69 bypass and others.
Bacon said crews also attempt to take precautionary advance steps if it looks like the city has a good chance for freezing weather with snow or ice.
"We'll go out and pretreat overpasses and intersections," he said.
Josh Coltrain, agriculture and natural resource agent for the Wildcat District of the K-State Research and Extension Office, said he does not expect any farm or ranch impact from this weekend's weather. However, the heavy rains of a couple of weeks ago may be costly to some area agriculture operations.
"As long as the water is not standing for more than a day or so there's usually no impact," Coltrain said. "But when the soil is saturated like it was and water stands for more than three or four days at a time it could have some detrimental impact on crops."
— Mike Elswick is a staff writer for The Morning Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.