Weather

This ‘chilly’ weather isn’t over. Weekend will see some melting, then more freezing

Ice storm makes getting up hills difficult for motorists

A passer-by stopped to assist a motorist who got stuck going up a hill on southbound Antioch Road near 108th Terrace in Overland Park Thursday morning. Freezing rain and sleet that fell overnight made for hazardous driving in the Kansas City metro.
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A passer-by stopped to assist a motorist who got stuck going up a hill on southbound Antioch Road near 108th Terrace in Overland Park Thursday morning. Freezing rain and sleet that fell overnight made for hazardous driving in the Kansas City metro.

Frigid temperatures plus high winds, plus icy roads, contributed to another day off school for thousands of schoolchildren in Kansas City.

For students in Kansas City, Kan., well, it was back to class.

Friday is expected to be sunny with temperatures in the low 20s and wind chill values potentially 10 degrees below zero. Sunny conditions will help melt some ice but expect some refreezing as the overnight temperatures will dip into the single digits.

Kansas City snow removal crews continued to work Friday on both arterial and neighborhood streets.

“As temperatures get warmer, that should help the plows get under the ice pack,” said City Hall spokesman Chris Hernandez.

Expect a brief warming trend on Saturday and Sunday. However, there is a chance of wintry precipitation overnight Sunday into Monday, said Sarah Atkins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

“Right now it doesn’t look like anything too crazy, maybe a dusting to a half of an inch of snow in the Kansas City metro area,” Atkins said.

Generally, this weekend is expected to be drier. The highs should be in the upper 30s during the day on Sunday. The lows will be in the 20s.

“It doesn’t look anything quite like what we are experiencing [Friday] morning as far as wind chills and temperatures go,” Atkins said. “But wind chills over the weekend could be down in the teens, it will still be chilly.”

Three students suffered minor injuries Wednesday when the school bus they were riding in overturned on an icy street in southeast Kansas City. The crash occurred in an apartment complex near President Court and Virginia Avenue.

The drive into work Friday was less hazardous as crews had cleared major interstates and thoroughfares. Most, if not all bridges and overpasses were also clear.

“Our crews last night were smaller which typically indicates that things are winding down,” said Markl Johnson, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The recent cold snap isn’t abnormal. While the past few winters have been quite mild, there have been periods or days where the temperatures took a dip.

“Last week it was more intense and widespread throughout the country but as far as this weekend, it is not out of the normal,” Atkins said. “Even with the warmer winters, we would experience some cold snaps in between.”

On Thursday, Kansas City police said there have been 102 traffic wrecks reported in a 24-hour span. That number included both injury and non-injury crashes where an officer was summoned.

Motorists involved in minor collisions where no one is injured are encouraged to exchange license, insurance and contact information, and file an accident report at one of the Police Department’s six division stations.

While the frigid temperatures and blustery conditions will be here for a while, school will likely be back in session on Monday.

Sarah Atkins, with the weather service, offers some simple advice.

“Stay updated on the forecast and be careful out there even if the roads seem like they are clear if we do end up getting some melting, stay cautious,” she said.

Kansas City residents can check for updates on the local forecast, snow and ice removal and other news online at www.kcmo.gov/snow.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.
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