Archive for Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter storm warning issued for Douglas County

There is a good chance about one or two inches of snow will drop on us overnight tonight. With temperatures in the 20s it's really starting to feel like winter.

December 7, 2009, 3:17 p.m. Updated December 7, 2009, 11:26 p.m.



Live snow reports from across Kansas

Live tweets from across Kansas, updating you on snowfall totals, school closings and just where the snow is falling.

11:23 p.m. Most roads in and around Douglas County have a coating of snow on them. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Highway 10, U.S. 59 and U.S. 40 through Lawrence were partly snowpacked.

5:07 p.m. It’s a “wait and see” approach from the city in regards to the incoming blast of winter weather. On Friday, crews at the Street Department began putting the spreaders on their trucks in preparation for winter weather.

“Once it starts snowing, we’ll spread sand and salt on all of the streets first and then we’ll see how much snow accumulates and when it accumulates to three inches, then we will start plowing and it’s just a matter of timing,” said Tom Orzulak, Street Department Manager.

Linda Cottin, owner of Cottin’s hardware, says their rush on snowmelt, shovels and ice scrapers began over the weekend.

“They were forecasting freezing rain and several people came in to get some ice melt and several people came in to get shovels,” Cottin said.

Cottin says the store stocks up on winter weather removal tools at the beginning of the season and hopes they sell most or all of it by winter’s end.

“Once it snows they come in for the sleds,” says Cottin. “Pools actually make great sleds.”

4:59 p.m. City of Lawrence crews are on the streets right now pre-treating areas that expected to get slick as icy, snowy precipitation begins to accumulate.

City crews are split into two, 12-hour shifts and will work around the clock when the snow is falling to keep the roads passable for motorists. According to the city, crews begin by spreading sand and salt on arterial streets — like Sixth Street or Iowa Street — before moving to other major streets, like Massachusetts or Bob Billings and eventually to residential areas.

Accumulation must reach at least three inches before city crews begin plowing operations.

The city Monday evening was also reminding residents that sidewalks must be cleared within 48 hours, per city ordinance. The fine is $20 per day, plus court costs, if residents are found guilty of not clearing their sidewalks.

3:27 p.m. 6News Chief Meteorologist Matt Elwell says winter weather accumulations are more likely to be in the 2-4" range in the Lawrence area, but regions just a few miles north of Interstate 70 could see much greater totals, including the 6-9" being predicted by the National Weather Service.

3:17 p.m. The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a winter storm warning for Douglas County and nearby counties Osage and Lyon from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Wednesday, in addition to Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, which were warned earlier.

Lawrence and Emporia are included in the warning, which calls for an accumulation of snow and sleet between six and nine inches, according to preliminary reports. No more than a quarter inch of sleet is expected. The warning is effective from midnight Tuesday until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Snow is expected to develop in central Kansas Monday evening and spread eastward. Look for snowfall to continue through Tuesday night.

Strong north winds on Tuesday night - at 20 to 30 miles per hour - blowing snow may affect travel conditions and bring a subzero windchill.

Sign up to get SMS or email alerts of treacherous weather conditions at


Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

yippie for me not. If this comes about and there is no school my headache is going to be bigger than the whole universe. I hate snow days, I hate snow, I really need to move to the tropics.

KansasPerson 8 years, 6 months ago

Whether we get the accumulation or not, it sounds like it's going to be just plain nasty as it's coming down, with that strong north wind. Be safe, everyone.

LogicMan 8 years, 6 months ago

With deep snow for maybe their first time, it will be interesting to watch how the heavy, low, narrow/small-wheeled Priuses do!

Also on ice as they try to regeneratively brake.

Should be fun! If I can stay out of their way, and if stuck, they don't get in our way.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

well they are low enough maybe we should attach snow plows to the front.

somedude20 8 years, 6 months ago

^^^^^^^ that seems a little racy for this blog Tom

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

well if they are stuck they can't slide into people?? Yeah maybe they should just stay home.

thepianoman 8 years, 6 months ago

GASP Oh my. Snow. This is so scary! Quick, somebody hold me.

meggers 8 years, 6 months ago

Don't Prius' drive as well any other front-wheel drive car in the snow?

When it comes to snow, I think one achieves better control with a lighter front-wheel drive car, as opposed to a heavier, rear-wheel drive car.

budwhysir 8 years, 6 months ago

snow around here???? come on who woulda thought winter is just like summer, comes around once a year and while it is here, everyone complains bout how bad we have it

overthemoon 8 years, 6 months ago

my prius does just fine in snow.

its the nimwits in big SUV's that end up in ditches because they think they can drive at normal speeds or above in snow and ice. many years of commuting to KC, during bad road conditions if there are 10 cars off the road along the way, 9 will be explorers, jeeps, and other four wheel drive gas wasters.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 6 months ago

Dang Tom! We're just talking about weather here. Can't you behave? (just kidding)

rdragon (M. Lindeman) says…

They keep saying people north of I-70 will be the ones with the snow, everyone south of 70 will get just a little winter/mix. Now if you ask me, I don't think anyone has a clue as to what it really going to do.

You've just become a meteorologist! Congrats!

bevy 8 years, 6 months ago

What I want to know is, what's so freakin' magical about I-70 that the weather only comes down hard to the north? Is there some kind of force field at play here?

Last night my daughter and I were both praying for a snow day. I'm hoping now that the mess tomorrow holds off until I get back from my afternoon appt. in OP.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 6 months ago

wow, a weather thread is up for just less than two hours, and ten percent of posts are whiped out! sounds like posters more dangerous than the warned storm! lmao.

Matt! I have a question, so just what are we being warned for? no, I'm not being hardheaded or whatever. four inches of snow by itself isn't really a problem for most of us, and it doesn't usually impact electricity or infrastructure. the road crew gets out, they start clearing at 3-inches depth.
so, in this storm, just what really constitutes the need for a
is it the wind/blowing snow? that doesn't cover that time period according to what's hhere and the prediction for blowing snow time.

is the warning really a: "beware of stupid idjiot drivers who can't drive right on a sunny 60F day, because they'll try to drive in 4-inches of snow?"

just seems that calling this a warning by the NWS is a little overblown [pun included].

headdoctor 8 years, 6 months ago

bevy (Anonymous) says… What I want to know is, what's so freakin' magical about I-70 that the weather only comes down hard to the north? Is there some kind of force field at play here?

It is the ghost of Eisenhower past. Heehee, don't laugh. It is as good of an explanation as any. Although I-70 is a pretty defined landmark to go by instead of giving the old weather standard of so many miles either side of a line on the map of which many don't have handy to look at.

Matt Elwell 8 years, 6 months ago

bearded_gnome: Great question. The Winter Storm Warning was issued for snow and sleet. Some areas just to our north could pick up 6-9" of snow. We are on the fringe of all of this because we will likely see warmer air move in and change the snow to a rain/snow mix or even all rain by Tuesday afternoon and evening before switching back to snow. A few degrees could change this to all snow. The 2-4" that we are slated for in DG Co could be changed to 4-6+" if it all stays snow and could come down quickly.

There are many scenerios that they can apply a winter storm warning for, but quickly accumulating snow is one of those situations and one that the NWS out of Topeka is concerned about. That can make travel difficult.

Please be careful as you head out the next couple of days.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 6 months ago

Where's Mr. Harrington? Please, get somebody on here who doesn't get all hyper over 2-4 inches! I'll believe it when I see it. Promises, promises....

bearded_gnome 8 years, 6 months ago

oh, okay the warning is for the potential for fast falling snow, makes sense. maybe include what particular element triggers 'warning' status in future releases Matt?

and if I am reading the latest items right, we're getting some slush, krud, froth, that'll turn into slickness/ice tonight maybe.

TOB, yes I'm aware they have standards. if we're given a 'warning' its nice to know what that warning is for, what hazzard trips the threshold.

social_networking 8 years, 6 months ago

Hm, i enjoy the fact that they give us a "Winter Storm Warning". Buckle up guys, these are some deadly flurries.

aha 8 years, 6 months ago

OMG!!! Where is my bicycle helmet???

lwctown 8 years, 6 months ago

Heard it is starting to fall....the latest reports say that the South Lawrence Trafficway is already blocked by three feet of red tape.

yankeelady 8 years, 6 months ago

I-70 has become the new "Tonganoxie split" .

notajayhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

Personally, I appreciated the warning. Everyone must have left work early, 'cause the commute home from Missouri was a breeze.

Matt Elwell 8 years, 6 months ago

The latest model data is coming out, and the early trends are for the warm air to move in more slowely (if at all). That trends toward more snow and less rain on Tuesday. Current thinking is that we will see more on the line of 2-5" for the storm with locally higher snowfall amounts possible (some areas could see as much at 6", although I expect to be on the lower side in Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte Counties). Tune in at 10:00 PM and the morning starting at 5:26 AM for the latest!

Matt Elwell 6NEW Chief Meteorologist

David Lignell 8 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the update, Matt. I think I can handle 2-5" and not the 6-9" originally predicted in Says something about local news, eh?

Flap Doodle 8 years, 6 months ago

What a lovely day for moveon's tantrum.

kusp8 8 years, 6 months ago

D@@@@mn it! I was hoping for a snow day/week/month!

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