W. Kansas farmers Welcome Snow

HAYS, Kan. (AP) _ Farmers in western Kansas are grateful to see a large amount of precipitation coming their way, even if some of it is snow.

Only 2.4 percent of the average rainfall has been recorded so far this year, perhaps the driest period on record. But the National Weather Service on Thursday predicts rain, then heavy snow.

Blizzard warnings are posted in nearly all of the western half of the state starting at 3 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters say snowfall in south-central Kansas could reach two feet by Friday night. Up to 16 inches is predicted in southwest Kansas and a foot is possible in the northwest corner of the state.

The area desperately needs moisture in any form.

The three-month period ending Tuesday is quickly on its way to being the driest stretch since record-keeping started in 1868 -- unless the approaching storm lives up to its billing.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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