Category Archives: Ice

Friday night’s weather

Here’s a map from the National Weather Service showing what eastern Kansas can expect from tonight’s wintry precipitation:

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Friday could offer a double helping of glaze for the Wichita area

The morning commute may be decorated with a light glaze in the Wichita metropolitan area Friday, weather officials say.

It won’t be much, National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Jakub said, but it could still make untreated roads slick.

“The ground is still frozen,” Jakub said. “Any time you get any liquid on the surface, it’ll freeze pretty fast.”

Another round of wintry precipitation – freezing rain, freezing drizzle and sleet – is possible Friday night as well, Jakub said. The moisture could then transition to snow early Saturday morning.

The snowfall won’t amount to much, though: an inch or less in the Wichita area, Jakub said.

A more potent winter system is expected early next week, he said, when most of Kansas could see 2 to 4 inches of snow Monday and Tuesday.

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Winter weather advisory goes into effect at 6 p.m.

A winter weather advisory for the Wichita area goes into effect at 6 p.m. today and continues until 6 p.m. Friday.

Light rain should transition into a wintry mix late this afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Smith said.

“It could be around the drive time,” Smith said.

Forecasters aren’t expecting heavy freezing rain, but “just a little bit can cause headaches,” he said. “Bridges and overpasses, that’s still going to be a problem.”

The wintry mix will continue into the overnight hours, then take a break until shortly before daybreak Friday.

“The morning commute could be a little dicy,” Smith said.

Freezing rain, sleet, ice pellets, snow – “It looks like it’s going to be a little bit of everything,” he said.

Highs won’t reach freezing on Friday and will not climb out of the 30s until early next week.

Blustery north winds will be a constant, gusting to more than 30 miles an hour throughout the period.

Wichita weather: A wintry mix to coat metro area

Here’s a map of what the National Weather Service is projecting for south-central Kansas – including the Wichita metropolitan area – from the strong winter storm bearing down on the region.

AccuWeather is predicting 2 to 5 inches of snow for Wichita from this storm.

There’s no blizzard in Kansas today – 511 Traveler Information map is being tested

The weather in Kansas should be sunny and cool today – but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the Kansas Department of Transportation’s 511 Traveler Information map (511.ksdot.org).

The 511 map will undergo a live simulation test from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to test its ability to handle a large number of information requests when the entire state highway system has snow and ice conditions. KDOT officials were prepared to delay the test if winter weather was striking some part of the state.

During the test, travelers will still be able to see real construction/incident information, KDOT spokeswoman Barb Blue said in a prepared statement. However, this information may not display as the stress point of information is approached.

Users may turn off the snow and ice condition colors by un-checking “Roadway Weather Conditions” in the legend on the left side of the map. The real highway information will be available in the “Driving Conditions List” link at the top of the map and will be listed separately from the simulated snow and ice conditions.

Travelers who call the 511 system will be informed of the test and reporting of road conditions during the test by an introductory message. Current road work activities and incidents will be reported on 511 as these reports won’t be affected by the test. Travelers can access the 511 phone system by calling 5-1-1 from anywhere in Kansas or 1-866-KDOT (5368) from anywhere in the U.S.

Blue said the simulation is necessary to test new enhancements to the site and to ensure reliable service during inclement winter weather.

Winter storm could bring a real mess to Wichita early next week

Forecast models are suggesting a winter storm could bring a real mess to the Wichita area early next week.

Light freezing rain is possible Sunday night into Monday, before the precipitation changes over to snow Monday night and lingers into Wednesday morning.

It’s too soon to say how much snow Wichita will get, forecasters say, but it could be several inches. Stay tuned to later forecasts. The storm is expected to come up through the Four Corners area of the Southwest, which traditionally delivers snow to the Sunflower State.

Oklahoma and Arkansas are likely to get measurable snow as well.

Slick conditions coat much of region

The National Weather Service has put together a map showing that much of the area near Wichita is dealing with freezing drizzle this morning. If you’re traveling in the region, drive cautiously.

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State officials: avoid travel in Kansas tonight

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is warning motorists to avoid travel in the state tonight due to blizzard conditions, slick roads and dangerous wind chills.

The National Weather Service warns says travel will become increasingly hazardous as snow and ice accumulate and high winds affect visibility between 6 p.m. and midnight. Travel will be particularly dangerous in northeast Kansas.

“This is an extremely dangerous situation we are facing and everyone should heed these warnings,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state adjutant general. “If you must travel, do so before 6 p.m. and plan to stay there tonight.”

Snow and ice is forecast for all of Kansas with snow accumulations ranging from 2 to 8 inches. Both Northeast and southeast Kansas are expected to get a significant amount of snow.

Winter Weather Advisory issued for Wichita area and a dozen other counties

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for 13 counties in southern and central Kansas, effective from 9 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The advisory includes Wichita, Hutchinson, El Dorado, Newton, Wellington, Augusta, Anthony, Cottonwood Falls and Marion.

A mix of freezing drizzle and light snow is expected to develop across portions of central and south central Kansas tonight and continue into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. The precipitation will initially be light snow, with up to 2 inches possible by sunrise Tuesday.

The precipitation will then change over to a mix of light snow, freezing drizzle, sleet and freezing rain during daylight on Tuesday. Some glazing of elevated surfaces is possible, and roads could become slick as a result of the mix of freezing precipitation.

Total snowfall and sleet accumulations will range from 2 to 4 inches along U.S. 50 to 1 to 3 inches along a Kingman to Wichita line, the National Weather Service reports.

The precipitation will change back to light snow Tuesday evening. Surface winds will increase to 20 to 30 miles an hour, with gusts of up to 35 mph. This will lead to dangerous wind chills overnight on Tuesday and possibly some blowing snow.

Stormy Thanksgiving holidays

As often as my work schedule has allowed, I try to make it out to the family farm for Thanksgiving weekend. It was a rare opportunity to see several of my family members – I’m one of eight children – as well as Mom and Dad.

There was always a major chore or two to tackle while we were out there – Dad was wise enough to save them for when he knew he’d have plenty of helping hands available – and if we were lucky there was an afternoon or evening when the local high school gym was available for our all-hands-on-deck volleyball matches and basketball games. What we lacked in talent we made up for in merriment.

Those traditions always made packing for a Thanksgiving weekend out at the farm a challenge: I had to pack work clothes and boots, as well as sneakers and gym clothes…

….and I learned the importance of packing for two seasons – fall and winter. Virtually every time I went home to central Kansas for the holiday, there seemed to be a dramatic shift in the weather at some point during the four-day period.

The first time (alas, not the only time) I slid off an icy road was coming back to Wichita on the Sunday after Thanksgiving a few years after I graduated from high school. It was on K-96, just past the curve known as Krupper’s Korner. The icy mix coming down had glazed the highway so fiercely that my tires simply lost traction as I attempted to navigate the turn. My Pontiac LeMans spun around in a slow 360 and came to a stop in the gently sloping ditch.

I was fortunate no one else was on the highway at the time and, after taking a few moments to collect myself, put the car back in gear, pressed speculatively on the accelerator – and pulled right back onto the highway. The grass offered enough traction for the tires to do their job. Thankfully, the rest of the journey was uneventful.

Thanksgiving weekends in Kansas seem to offer a vast smorgasbord of wintry weather, often shoulder-to-shoulder with unseasonably warm spells that invite games of touch football in the back yard or long walks through a neighborhood or down a rural pathway.

National Weather Service meteorologist-in-charge Dick Elder told me it’s not just my imagination that Thanksgiving weekend routinely throws Kansans a curve ball with its weather.

“This time of year…it’s just a conveyer belt of storm systems,” he said.
“Typically, you have a storm system move through once every four days.”

That timing almost guarantees a notable change in the weather at some point during the holiday period. If moisture from the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean meets up with arctic air plunging down from Canada, Kansas gets whacked with a wintry mess. If the cold air stays north, the moisture falls as simply cold rain.

Here’s hoping holiday travelers handle this weekend’s weather surprise with aplomb – or get home in time for it not to matter.