By KAREN LA PIERRE
Hays residents woke up to a light covering of snow and steady rain Saturday morning -- all much needed.
Less than an inch of snow was predicted for Saturday night.
It was a drastic change from just a few short days ago when temperatures were in the 80s.
"We had some record highs a few days ago," said John Finch, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Dodge City. "It was very warm. Records do happen."
The unusually warm weather was caused by down-slope winds from the southwest, and when that happens, it dries out and warms up, he said.
More seasonal winter weather returned late in the week.
Today was forecast to be cold and windy, with highs in the upper 20s and wind north, northwest at 20 to 25 mph.
Looking ahead into the work week, Monday will be windy with a high in the 40s. Tuesday will be warmer ahead of a cold front, with the next chance of precipitation coming Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the warmth returns with a spring-like high near 60.
Then Mother Nature turns again. Wednesday will colder, with a high of 37 and a 20-percent change of snow. The chance for snow continues through Thursday. Thursday's high is forecast for 39.
According to the National Weather Service, the long range forecast for February, March and April includes below normal temperatures and above-normal to normal precipitation.
"The U.S. Drought Monitor shows abnormally dry or drier than normal right now," for Hays, Finch said.