With temperatures in the Kansas City area hovering in the low 30s this weekend, the National Weather Service put out a freezing rain advisory for early Saturday and warned not to expect much of a warmup until the latter part of next week.
But if area residents can manage to stay out of the elements through Wednesday, “it will begin to feel a bit more comfortable,” said Jared Leighton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
While the light rain that fell through much of the day Friday was expected to fizzle out by Saturday afternoon, meteorologists predicted the cold temperature — albeit above freezing — would hang around at least until Thursday. Then it may warm above 40 degrees and climb into the middle 50s later in the week.
The icy culprit was Canadian cold air that moved down and brought lower temperatures across the area, “normal for this time of year,” Leighton said. The cold, coupled with moisture whipped up by a tropical system over the Pacific, is what brought freezing precipitation across Texas, Oklahoma and into Kansas and Missouri.
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“We are lucky it wasn’t two or three degrees cooler or we would have had several inches of freezing rain, an ice storm” Leighton said.
As it was, Leighton said he did receive some reports Friday afternoon that slushy ice had started forming on tree branches and leaves in some areas southeast of downtown Kansas City. He thought that might continue through Saturday in some places, but he wasn’t worried that it would cause any major problems.
“It’s not going to bring down any trees or power lines.”
The weather may have kept some holiday shoppers home, said some retail workers looking for bigger crowds at the Zona Rosa shopping center in Kansas City, North. Black Friday shoppers out in search of deals started on some slick roadways. And some returned to cars they had parked on the street or in surface lots and found they had to chip ice from the windshield before heading home.
Light winds Friday made matters worse because it made freezing temperatures feel 10 to 15 degrees colder.