As a late winter storm bears down on the Central Plains, Kansas is hunkering down and getting prepared to ride out what forecasters are warning will be the worst winter conditions of the season.
Between 8 and 16 inches of snow – and more in some areas – is in the forecast, along with 30 to 40 mph winds which will cut visibility to zero as the storm moves through.
Producers and agronomists say, however, that overall, the impending storm brings more positives than negatives.
"We are extremely dry and we need the moisture," said wheat farmer Dean Stoskopf, who said temperatures were already in the low 20s on Thursday morning. "The wheat is not jointing yet, so we are probably not looking at significant freeze damage. Overall, I think the moisture will do more good than the cold will do harm."
Kansas State University agronomist Jim Shroyer agrees. He said the wheat is not yet to jointing stage in most of the state and is therefore not as vulnerable to the cold. But the entire state is dry and any moisture, from the rain expected in south-central and southeast Kansas head of the storm to the heavy, wet snow itself, will be welcome.