Rain soaks Kansas City metro, snow headed overnight - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

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Snow, slick roads complicate Wednesday morning's commute

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FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Kansas City is going from sandals weather to a winter wonderland.

In a matter of two days, Kansas City will go from a record high of 74 at the airport to thunderstorms and a tornado watch to a winter weather advisory and a blanket of snow. Frigid near zero temperatures are also ahead.

Parts of the area were under a tornado watch Tuesday. The entire area is under a winter weather advisory until noon Wednesday.

"We have been forecasting the snow for a few days, but now it looks like it's coming in more intense than we thought in the past," said National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Bailey.

While the amount won't be high, the most intense burst of snow is projected to arrive during the height of the morning commute.

"We know if we get a couple of inches of snow in the middle of the rush hour, things bog down so people should allow extra time in the morning," Bailey said. "Commutes that normally take 20 minutes may take an hour to hour and a half."

Kansas City area road crews are working to ensure the smoothest possible commute Wednesday morning.

Snow is forecast to move into the northwestern counties.

On average, 1 to 2 inches of snow is possible for the Kansas City area. Moving north of the Missouri River, totals could increase to 3 inches. In the northwest corner of the state, some areas could see 4 to 5 inches of snow.

Locally, higher amounts are possible closer to the Iowa border. Areas south of Kansas City will likely see 1 inch or less. The window for snow in Kansas City will end 10 a.m. with the heaviest stretch ending at 8 a.m.

Wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph are possible. A snowstorm in mid-December had wind gusts of 50 to 55 mph, creating major travel hazards.

"This will not be that much of an impact," Bailey said. "We're not looking at strong winds drawing with this one."

Untreated roads could be an issue Wednesday morning.

It will be cold and windy Wednesday morning as well, so areas of reduced visibility may also be an issue.

Overland Park public works supervisor Brian Hutchinson said based on the current temperature and snowfall projections that salt will be the most effective treatment for the roads. The low temperature is expected to be in the upper 20s and the snowfall isn't expected to be significant.

"Right now, it appears the temperature of the pavement will allow us to get away pretty clean, but you never know. And we'll be prepared either way," Hutchinson said. "Our thoughts are it will probably be about five to six hours to fight this storm. The temperatures are going to be in our favor, the pavement is up there and it's going to take a few hours to get down where they'll start expecting the accumulated snow."

Kansas City Public Works spokesman Sean Demory concurred.

"The rain can allow the materials we put on the road to help control ice and snow," he said. "It will allow those materials to sink into the snow as it falls so it will be easier for us to get off."

While many may not enjoy the snow and the weather swings, Bailey and other meteorologists are.

"We're weather geeks. We love weather like this," Bailey said. "It's exciting to go from this dramatic of highs and a cold front comes in and we get a snowstorm. It's interesting for us, certainly."

Stay tuned to KCTV5.com and KCTV5 News for the latest forecast and any school closings.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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