Blizzard conditions slammed parts of the central Plains Monday, forcing the closure of highways in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and sending public works crews scrambling for salt and sand anew just days after a massive storm blanketed the region with snow.
National Weather Service officials in Kansas and Oklahoma issued blizzard warnings and watches through late Monday as the storm packing snow and high winds tracked eastward across West Texas toward Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Forecasters also warned of possible tornadoes further southeast.
The weather service issued a blizzard warning for the Oklahoma Panhandle and counties along the Kansas border, warning that travel in the area would be "very dangerous" until Tuesday morning with near zero visibility and drifting snow.
Forecasters said up to 16 inches of snow could accumulate in some areas, with wind gusts reaching up to 55 mph.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback amended a state of emergency declaration to include the new weather.
"This storm has the potential to be more dangerous than last week's storm," Brownback said late Sunday. The storm late last week dumped more than a foot of snow in some places, closing airports and leading to several deadly traffic accidents.
Brownback urged motorists to "stay off the road unless it's absolutely critical," adding that drivers who must travel should pack charged cellphones and emergency kits containing food, water, blankets, road flares and shovels.
The southern Kansas town of Zenda saw 18 inches of snow last week, while 17 inches fell in Hays, Kan., about 13 inches in northeast Missouri and 12 inches in parts of Kansas City.