The Garden City Telegram
2/20/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Q's threat

Another mixed bag in winter storm to come.

A roller-coaster ride of winter weather should deliver a strong jolt this week.

Forecasters called for a winter snowstorm headed toward Kansas to wreak havoc ranging from significant snow to blizzard conditions and an icy mess.

While precipitation always is welcome in our parched part of the country, the dangerous fallout of  treacherous weather-related conditions would be another story.

The potentially major weather event expected to hit the Plains states was to be fueled by low pressure on the plains of eastern Colorado and western Kansas combined with strong high pressure over central Canada.

It’s been dubbed Winter Storm Q by The Weather Channel, which decided to name winter storms, similar to the National Weather Service labeling tropical systems, in part to raise awareness of approaching dangerous weather.

In this instance, it is indeed important for people to consider the threat of a storm that could bring heavy snowfall of more than 1 inch per hour in parts of Kansas and Missouri. Along with significant snowfall and strong wind, sleet and freezing rain also were expected to contribute to dangerous travel in the two states.

Regardless of how the storm unfolds and its impact on particular parts of Kansas and surrounding states, it’s cause to sound the alarm once again on the importance of being cautious.

Plenty of danger comes with such a pounding of winter weather. This particular storm was sizing up to be a situation of snow-packed, icy roads and blowing snow that would create poor visibility and lead authorities to advise against travel.

Those who do plan to hit the road should first check roadway and weather conditions at Kandrive.org, or by calling 511. More winter emergency preparedness tips are available from the American Red Cross website, redcross.org.

Once the roads clear and danger subsides in the wake of any snowstorm, southwest Kansans at least can celebrate the precipitation in a region mired in drought.

Meanwhile, it’s necessary to err on the side of caution as hazardous winter weather conditions arrive. Travel with care, and stay safe from the wrath of the storm known as Q.