Archive for Saturday, February 17, 2007

Snowstorm complicates commute

51 accidents reported in area

February 17, 2007


Blast of winter weather hits douglas county - catching drivers off guard

A round of heavy snowfall moved into the Lawrence area late this afternoon and caused several accidents as a result of the icy weather. Enlarge video

Viewed between the icicles on his front porch, Lawrence resident Aaron Blosser clears the sidewalk outside his Connecticut Street home Friday from a storm earlier this week - just in time for Friday's new snow.

Viewed between the icicles on his front porch, Lawrence resident Aaron Blosser clears the sidewalk outside his Connecticut Street home Friday from a storm earlier this week - just in time for Friday's new snow.

Traffic backed up on Iowa Street just north of 19th Street after a Lawrence police officer was involved in an accident. The late afternoon snow made the roads dangerous Friday as residents were getting off work.

Traffic backed up on Iowa Street just north of 19th Street after a Lawrence police officer was involved in an accident. The late afternoon snow made the roads dangerous Friday as residents were getting off work.

It was a slippery mess.

Just ahead of rush hour in Lawrence and Douglas County on Friday afternoon, a storm that blew snow rudely moved into the area as drivers prepared to head home for the weekend.

It moved from the northwest and dropped anywhere from 1 to 2.8 inches of snow at spots in the county from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"It was a little stronger than we anticipated," said Kyle Poage, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka. "Sometimes these systems come from the northwest, and it's hard to get a feeling for how strong they are going to be."

The storm gained strength from an upper low near South Dakota.

"Energy from the jet stream caused it to feed that pressure that formed into a bigger snow band than expected," said Jennifer Schack, 6News chief meteorologist.

Lawrence police and the Douglas County sheriff's office reported no injuries but several slide-offs and accidents as drivers negotiated the roads early Friday evening.

As strong winds continued to blow Friday night, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical crews responded to a call at 8:30 p.m. of a sand truck that rolled onto its side in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 about 1 mile east of the Lecompton Interchange. Crews told dispatchers that one person suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.

That was the only reported injury accident in Douglas County as of 11 p.m. Friday.

Earlier that evening, sheriff's officers handled noninjury accidents on several highways and roads, including four on Kansas Highway 10, said Lt. Kari Wempe, a sheriff spokeswoman.

Just from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., police responded to 19 noninjury accidents, including three on Iowa Street, two on Wakarusa Drive and two on Louisiana Street, said Kim Murphree, a police spokeswoman.

Friday night, dispatchers said law enforcement officers had responded to 51 noninjury accidents in the city and county.

Once the snow stopped in Lawrence, it left enough slick spots even on busier streets Friday night.

Mike Asher, a Lawrence landscaper, hauled several of his friends in his pickup truck from Rick's Place, 846 Ill., to a downtown Lawrence parking lot.

Asher said the streets were slick, but he also thought he could handle them - compared with the climate he experienced earlier this week.

"Actually I just got back from Minnesota two days ago, so this wasn't a big deal," he said.

After several brutally cold days in Lawrence, the temperature did reach 33 degrees Friday night, Schack said. Although she predicted strong winds and light snow again Friday night, relief may be on the way.

Temperatures were expected to reach 32 today, into the 40s Sunday and the 50s on Monday and Tuesday.

"A lot of melting," Schack said.


Sandman 11 years, 4 months ago

Average high temperature in February in Kansas - 42 degrees.

This winter? About twenty degrees cooler.

So much for global warming.

DonnieDarko 11 years, 4 months ago

I just love the neo-con idiots like Sandman who look in their own backyard, make the above "observation", and then come out with their "view" on global warming.

"Ummmm, yep, it ain't warm where I live for the past three weeks so it must not be happening."

Thanks for your insight, Sandman. Now go stick your head back in the sand.

number3of5 11 years, 4 months ago

Why do the weather people call any snow, rain, etc a storm? To me storms are more severe than the snow we recieved on Friday afternoon. This was just a few inches of snow.

ruette 11 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, DD! It says a lot about S'man, that he/she thinks of Kansas as 'global.' Or of this winter as representative of a millennia-scale trend. Navel-gazing, anyone?

Tychoman 11 years, 4 months ago

Sandman, everyone knows that after global warming comes the nuclear winter. Brrrr. 51 tomorrow, kids!

DonnieDarko 11 years, 4 months ago

Solomon: "Fact is, human contribution is unknown, and likely a very small part of the warming that we've seen."

Unbelievable. :-) Where do you get your "facts", Solomon? You might check the real facts again and see how much more (think exponential) we've warmed up in the past 50 years alone.

Pronouncements such as yours and Sandman's don't carry weight, period. Your dismissal of the work of scientists says everything about your "world view".

conservative 11 years, 4 months ago

Donnie, ok give us the "Facts". Show us exactly how the amount of "greenhouse gases" we've released compare to the amount naturally released and exactly how they affect the environment.

There is growing circumstancial evidence, but nothing direct.

Your blind allegiance to what is told to you by people with an agenda is staggering. blind faith is what gave us the dark ages and the inquisitions.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 4 months ago

No Solomon, DD is telling it how it is. The latest "consensus" on global warming is a scientific evaluation of relatively recent history. Look at their own statements: the only scientific question being asked is if we can see a trend over the past century, to which the answer is "yes". There are ways of measuring the trend over many centuries (polar ice, ancient tree rings, etc.) that strongly suggest that there are HUGE weather patterns that may exist, patterns that play out over many centuries, which is a period longer than we've been keeping records.

Venice is a good example. For years we've been told that Venice has been "sinking" for many centuries. Is it "sinking" or has the water around it been rising over the past 500 years?

Is anyone else old enough to remember how in the '70s the scientific community was convinced we were headed for another ICE AGE? That's right, only about 30 years ago, the data indicated a long term cooling trend. Key words: long term.

Is the warming of the last century man-made, or is it a "blip"? That hasn't really been proven, but we do know that "blips" do occur.

Baille 11 years, 4 months ago

"So much for global warming."

The hypothesis is not that a rise in the average global heat retention will cause uniform warming. Your criticism shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the model and of the discussion within the scientific community.

DonnieDarko 11 years, 4 months ago

Conservative: "Blind allegiance" also gave us the current mess in Iraq. Remember this? "You're either with us, or against us". Don't question the president, right?

Let's look at your other statement: "There is growing circumstancial evidence, but nothing direct." Since you've summed it up this way, you obviously are entitled to assume that the opposite is true (at least in your screwed up way of thinking). It's this same method of reasoning that idiot right-winger neo-cons such as yourself use to "disprove" evolution: "You can't prove it without a shadow of a doubt, so therefore creationism is valid".

Baille 11 years, 4 months ago

That is a fair comment, OE2BYD, but that does not change the facts and observable phenomena that is being considered. The significance of these facts and data is currently being debated with a majoirty of scientists finding the latest model of global warming to be credible. However, all concede that more study and discussion is merited. The problem, I think, with comments like Sandman's is that they interject a fundamental misunderstanding of the models and the evolving hypotheses into the discussion, which ends up in a lot of strained ocular muscles from all the eye rolling.

However, if we are just in this to make the ppthamologists rich, I am fine with it.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 4 months ago

Here's another example of what I'm talking about. On Banister Road in KC there is that high-security federal complex. It is surrounded by a huge wall, and the wall has markings for flood stages. The top marking is many feet above the ground and reads "500 year flood stage", meaning that about every 500 years, KC can expect a devastating amount of rainfall. When that happens, will we call it "global wetting", or will we say "it was a 500 year flood"?

The NARROW question is undisputable: the earth has warmed in recent history. What we don't want to admit alongside that fact is that something else has changed: we now have environmental groups with deep pockets who know how to fund a study and write a press release.

Fifty years ago the University of Wisconsin released a study showing that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. For decades we suffered through TV ads telling we HAD to buy Wheaties or we'd starve. A couple of years ago the study was debunked. Not everyone needs breakfast, it seems. It also seems that the original study from Wisconsin was funded by a cereal company. But it took 50 years to address the hype. I fear that we are having this global warming issue crammed down our throats in similar fashion: ask a over-simple question and you will get the specific answer you are looking for, then call CNN.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 4 months ago

"a majoirty of scientists finding the latest model of global warming to be credible"

EXACTLY what I'm saying: the "latest model" is credible, but the model being used is the time equivalent of saying "it was colder yesterday than today, maybe we should panic". The "latest model" is a very, very short period of time. Q: Do we see a warming trend over the past 100 years. A: Yes. That's NOT enough to even say "global warming". That is no more than saying "100 year warming trend"... THATS ALL YOU CAN SAY.

I have a good friend who is a retired professor of meterology. He'll tell you flat out that the "latest model" is crap. Its narrow in its scientific scope, too narrow to take seriously. Unless, of course, you have a really good PR campaign, then its no longer a turd. That makes it a gold-plated turd.

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

"So much for global warming"

Paraphrased: Don't bother me until it's way too late to do anything about it.

OldEnuf: I can see your point, and agree with it, but still don't believe it to be a call, as some would want it, to inaction. Whether we're certain about the impact we may be having or not, whether we're certain about some environmentalists prediction for the future or not, we still need to take more care of the world we are forced to inhabit, as it's the only one we currently have. Doesn't it seem like we should take the worst case scenario and consider it, as the alternative is really rather terrible.

If we're not going to consider global warming a potential threat until it's not cold anywhere, ever, then we're going to address the problem when it's too late to do anything about it. WHATEVER impact we humans may be having on the trend needs to be looked at, and addressed, and if companies have to take a few extra costs to clean up their emissions, we'll all survive.

Unfortunately, the cause has been hijacked, like many of them are. As you pointed out, there are the prof. environmental groups. But as well, there are the anti-business-restriction groups that. . . ha, who are we kidding. As well, there are the people that cry fowl and yell because evironmentalism has somehow become synonimous with liberalism or worse, Al Gore, and there are people who would lose prestige and their sponsorhips and book deals if they were to ever, ever agree with liberals or Al Gore.

conservative 11 years, 4 months ago

Wow Donnie, your ignorance is overwhelming. You can't provide the "Facts" you tout so you make assumptions on what I believe in and attack me. I guess I missed that step in the scientific method.

Also I'm not a big bush fan, I'm glad we went to Iraq but believe it has been bungled badly. And I do not believe in creationism.

So seems like you haven't got a single thing right today. Maybe at least you can have fun playing in the snow.

BTW, I assumed sandman's original post was sarcastic. If he truly believes that he is as misguided as you. But from a statistical standpoint, when he uses one years worth of data, and your experts use 30 years worth to try and plot the way a system that stretchs for tens of thousands of years work, then they are equally valid.

melott 11 years, 4 months ago

  1. The physics of the radiant energy absorption of CO2 and methane is well-understood. This, more than any statistical association, is the reason to understand the relation of climate.
  2. The relation between CO2 and temperature is not something known over a few decades. Instead, with ice core and other data, it goes far into the past. note that the CO2 level is now about 380 (compare with the plot).

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 4 months ago

iNstead of bickering why don't we all try to start helping by recycling and conserving energy. I bet half the wind out of our mouths could provide enough wind power to support a small country.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 4 months ago

What is it about the snow that brings out the nuts?

compmd 11 years, 4 months ago

So, this highly scientific discussion has how many scientists participating?

Crickets chirp

That's what I thought.

melott 11 years, 4 months ago

I am a scientist. I used the Wikipedia link because it is easily accessible. It is standard data I have seen many different places. If you would like to learn about climate from climate scientists, look at In the meantime, would anyne care to address what is plotted in my link, or discuss how CO2 could NOT have a major effect on climate?

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

There is nothing scientific about how people drive. I have found that many of the cars in the $50,000 range can drive on any type of ice at 90 mph. However, the owners of these cars are very surprised when they find that all tires are created equaly its the driver that makes the difference.

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

Snow does not complicate anything. Drivers in a hurry with no time to slow down complicate things

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 4 months ago

simple, it is both natural and man made how does that sound

Harry_Manback 11 years, 4 months ago

It took me two hours and 15 minutes to get from College and Nall in Leawood to Lawrence last night. I moved 4.5 miles in one hour. I left at 4:45 and got home at 7:00 p.m. Fun for all!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 4 months ago

"Unfortunately, the cause has been hijacked."

Exactly why its nearly impossible for any of us to be sure what our position should be on this matter. Its too much like the presidential elections: vote for the turd, or vote for the douche-bag?

My position: IF it is broken, fix it. But first prove to me its broken before you tell me to spend a google dollars fixing it.

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

Except that, isn't the point for it not to break. By the time it will classify as being broken, it will cost more to fix, if we are able to fix it at all.

There is no question that the climate is changing. Would you agree?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 4 months ago

"Except that, isn't the point for it not to break."

That's like saying that we should throw trillions of dollars into the cure of a disease that doesn't exist. Your question basically says "WE KNOW [notice me rolling my eyes] that this is going to happen someday, so shouldn't we blow a bunch of money to 'prevent' it NOW?" It is a "sky is falling" way of thinking. We DON'T have PROOF that we have had (or, will have) a LONG-TERM impact on the climate. NO PROOF OF LONG-TERM IMPACT, only conjecture about how to extrapolate the data from the past century. We don't even know enough to properly extrapolate the data. We need answers to the many unanswered questions about the phenomenon that we think we are observing before we can start making these decisions (and, spending money).

Would you agree?

Jonas: Are YOU happy with the size of our national debt? Are you pleased with the fact that manufacturing in America is dying? Don't you realize that there is a massive cost associated with the "cure" that is being proposed for the "disease" that no one has proven exists?

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

Are you angry for any particular reason. I'm not trying to irritate you, and there's no need to repeatedly shout. You're also very much exaggerating on a great many things. There's no reason to believe that anything will cost trillions and trillions of dollars. Or if it does, it's spread so far across the society that it amounts to dollars per person. As for tax money, it's not something the government has any active role in. The primary role needs to come from the private sector and the people actually polluting the earth. Lowering emmissions, cleaning up waste, etc.

As for manufacturing dying, please. It's dying in America because labor is expensive, not because environmental restrictions are destroying it. People worrying about the decline of manufacturing in America are people that lacked the foresight to provide a path for themselves outside of manufacturing. That's just the free market. If that's too Darwinistic for you, the only option is government intervention, which it seems like you oppose.

As for lack of proof. . . well, what are you looking for? A real rise in temperature? Okay. Polluted lakes and rivers? Check. Unhealthy, carcinogenic air? Been to LA recently? What level of proof do you wish, before you feel that action is justified?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 4 months ago

Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the rock.

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

Why do you post if you have nothing, even of humor value, to add? Do you always feel the need to show to everyone that you're bored? You must be a hit at parties.

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

There there. No need to be so hard on yourself. I had already forgiven you your unnecessary capslock abuse.

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