Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lawrence escapes expected blow

City’s lucky streak in 2007 continues

December 12, 2007


Icy weather causes cancelations

This morning Lawrence residents woke up to cars coated in ice and tree limbs on the ground - and it's not over yet. 6News reporter Lindsey Slater has more on the efforts to defrost the city before another round of winter weather comes through. Enlarge video

Maybe it's the Tonganoxie split.

Perhaps it's carbon dioxide being pumped out of the Westar Energy plant north of town.

Or possibly it is just the right time to be living in Lawrence because somehow, in the past year, Lawrence has missed out on the nastiest of nasty weather that has ravaged Kansas.

What was forecasted to be a major ice storm with downed power lines and sloppy driving conditions turned out on Tuesday to be little more than a short-term inconvenience for most Lawrencians.

"We knew there was going to be a freeze line, and we knew there would not be a straight line," said 6News Meteorologist Jennifer Schack. "(Monday) we knew there was a potential we could be in the middle and it could be all frozen in Topeka and Kansas City."

In reality, this ice storm was worse out west and mostly a nonevent in Kansas City and Lawrence.

This isn't the first time Lawrence has dodged a weather bullet. Last summer, for example, southeast and south-central Kansas were racked by terrible storms and disastrous flooding.

But Schack said there's no overarching reason - not Tonganoxie nor CO2 nor the shape of the Kansas River valley - for Lawrence dodging another meteorological bullet.

Schack, as another example of lucky Lawrence, pointed to a winter storm last year that dumped eight inches of snow in southeast Douglas County, but zero inches in Lawrence.

"In that instance, we never saturated the atmosphere on top of us. Snow was in the air but it never hit the ground," Schack said. "There's always going to be a snow (or ice, or thunderstorm) line, but there's no meteorological reason why we may seem to be on the line more often."

One thing Schack is sure of, though, is that weather balances out. Looking back to the microburst in 2006 or the tornado in 2003, major storms obviously do hit Lawrence. And Schack said there's no doubt Lawrence will get its share of extreme weather in the future.


mistygreen 10 years, 5 months ago

Dogded the weather bullet? What in the world is she thinking? I'm sure all the people that lost power feel like they dodged a weather bullet. Was it one of the worst ice storms? No, but it still was significant and needs to be regarded that way. I guess that is why I get my weather from another source.

Paul Geisler 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Mistygreen, and I didn't even lose power (we have underground power lines in our neighborhood). How can anyone around here (let alone, a weather person!) make such a statement when we already have damaged trees all over town? And as soon as the wind picks up we'll have many more downed limbs and trees! Seriously.....I'd watch out for falling ice, limbs, power lines, and trees where ever you go in town!

I know the streets aren't as bad as they might have been had the weather been a bit colder, but it is no easy process to walk around town right now! I walked a few blocks to catch a KU bus this morning and it was treacherous! And despite the wonderful efforts of F&O on campus there are still plenty of icy spots that you can slip & fall on.

mom_of_three 10 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence does miss a lot of nasty weather. Have you noticed most of the nasty thunderstorms pass by us, too? Yes, there were downed trees, and people without power, but it could have been so much worse.

mom_of_three 10 years, 5 months ago

We could be in Oskaloosa - still no power....

Kristine Bailey 10 years, 5 months ago

Clinton Lake Effect! The lake is not frozen, it keeps the air above it at least 32 degrees. The micro burst and the tornado both formed over the lake. The Overbrook area in Osage Co. was hit much worse than us. That would be Southwest of here. Send a reporter to Overbrook, the power lines are drooping to the ground and the barbwire fences are covered with 8 inch icicles.

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