While snow is still in the weekend forecast for Kansas City, there’s good news for those headed to the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday.
It won’t be as frigid as first feared, though it will be cold when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the New England Patriots Sunday evening.
Temperatures during the game are now expected to be in the low 20s with wind chills in the teens, according to the latest forecast by the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
As another winter storm threatens the Kansas City area, weather service employees are working without pay because of the partial federal government shutdown. They will get back pay once the shutdown ends.
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““NOAA’s National Weather Service has people working 24/7 during the shutdown to perform mission essential functions to protect lives and property,” a NOAA representative said in an email. “Observations, forecasts, watches/warnings, and all of the infrastructure to support these operations continue to be sustained, meeting all operational readiness levels.
“These functions are critical to providing life-saving decision support to emergency managers in every county of the United States.”
Information about individual weather forecast offices and the number of staff furloughed was not available.
The winter storm is expected to move into the Kansas City area Friday. Precipitation will start falling as rain Friday afternoon and switch over to snow that evening, according to the weather service.
Snow is expected to fall during a 24-hour period beginning 6 p.m. Friday. South of the Missouri River, snow is expected to start falling closer to 9 p.m.
Between 3 and 6 inches of snow is possible along the Interstate 29 and Interstate 70 corridors, with the heaviest snowfall between 7 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday north of the river.
South of the river, the heavier snow is expected from midnight Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
Winds are expected to be strong, with gusts of 30 to 35 mph between 3 a.m. and noon Saturday. The wind and snow is expected to reduce visibility to under a quarter of a mile at times.
Heavier snowfall is expected to the east and north of the Kansas City area, where between 4 and 8 inches of snow is possible during the same 24-hour period.
There’s still uncertainty about the snowfall estimates, and they will likely change by Friday morning.
A winter weather advisory has been issued for the area. Travel is expected to be hazardous during the storm, and roads are expected to be covered in snow and ice as temperatures fall rapidly, according to weather service.
Power outages are also possible as the strong winds could further damage trees that have been weakened by last weekend’s storm.
An arctic blast is still expected to drop into the area following the storm, sending temperatures plummeting. The temperature will be about 10 degrees in the Kansas City metro, with wind chills between zero and 5 degrees.
It will warm to the low to mid-20s by Sunday afternoon, although wind chills will make it feel more like 16 to 20 degrees.