It felt like winter across all of northwest Kansas by the time the solstice occurred at 10:28 a.m. Thursday. The odds of a white Christmas, however, remain low.
Thursday morning started with mild temperatures in the lower 40s in Ellis County, but that changed by late morning as a cold front moved in, dropping temperatures into the 20s and bringing just a trace of moisture. Winds dropped the chill factor into single digits.
While sites with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network recorded only hundredths of an inch in Rooks, Norton, Osborne and Smith counties, the cold temperatures and wind created some icy driving conditions across the region.
The far northwest corner of the state from Graham and Norton counties west and Wallace, Logan and Gove counties north, were placed under a winter weather advisory for much of the day due to the freezing drizzle.
The Kansas Highway Patrol and local law enforcement worked several weather-related accidents in the region Thursday, including these injury accidents:
• In Graham County, a Morland woman was injured when her vehicle slid off U.S. Highway 283 approximately 7 miles south of Hill City.
The Kansas Highway Patrol reported Leslie Carol Harvey, 61, was northbound at about 11:50 a.m. when her 2003 Chevrolet slid into the south ditch and rolled twice. Harvey was taken to Graham County Hospital. She was wearing a safety restraint, according to the KHP.
• In Thomas County, a Colorado man was taken to Logan County Hospital after the vehicle he was riding in was hit by another on U.S. Highway 83. The KHP reported a 2012 GMC pickup was attempting to make a turn at 9:13 a.m. on the U.S. 83 Eighth Street bypass when it was struck by a 2007 Volkswagen GTI driven by Anthony Scott Cossu, 23, Olympia, Wash. A passenger in the pickup, James Robert Werner, 34, Northglenn, Colo., was taken to the hospital with a possible injury.
• In Sherman County, the interchange of Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 27 was shut down briefly due to an accident, the KHP and Sherman County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Looking to the holiday weekend, there is a slight chance for snow Saturday night along and north of I-70, according to the Goodland National Weather Service forecast, but only a trace to 1 inch. Partly sunny skies and temperatures above freezing Sunday and in the low 40s on Christmas Day could erase any chance for it to remain Monday, however.