The National Weather Service in Topeka is forecasting a winter storm for tonight and into tomorrow and issuing a winter weather advisory for much of northeast Kansas – north and east of Osage County. The NWS is warning commuters might face snowfall totals of one to three inches in Shawnee County and other parts of the advisory area on Thursday morning.
Light to occasionally moderate snow is expected to begin after sunset this evening across northern Kansas, and spreading southeast overnight. Accumulating snowfall is expected to occurs after midnight with totals by sunrise ranging from 1 to 3 inches. A few locations may see snowfall up to four inches, especially across far eastern and northeast Kansas.
For tonight’s overnight forecasted snow, northeast Kansas Department of Transportation crews have pre-treated bridges and elevated areas already and will now wait to see what the winter storm brings. Snowplow crews will plow with 1/2 inch accumulation or more, and will treat with salt, or salt and sand mix in rural areas, as needed throughout the overnight and into the early morning hours tomorrow. Generally, heavier treating is done closer to the morning rush hour as salt will be ineffective during the overnight hours due to the brutal cold mid-teen temps.
The wintry precipitation is forecast to accumulate in the affected areas, causing hazardous driving conditions. Those with travel plans are advised to change plans or routes, or use extreme caution if travel is unavoidable. A winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
KDOT offers these driver tips.
Before leaving home: Allow extra time for your daily commutes when winter #kswx is expected; check Kansas roadway conditions in advance at www.kandrive.org or by calling 511; make sure emergency kit is prepared and in your vehicle; make sure gas tank is full; make sure your vehicle is winter ready
Once on the road: Take it slow as traction is key; allow extra room between your vehicle and those around you; use caution and drive for conditions you see on the roadways; if wipers are on continuously, vehicle headlights must be on, too, by state law; cruise control should be off; don’t crowd the plow as crews are out clearing to keep roadways safe for all drivers.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the winter weather advisory covered Republic, Washington, Marshall, Nemaha, Brown, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Shawnee and Douglas counties.