Freezing rain makes KAKEland roads slick

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Friday Morning 10:00AM

Here's a look at reported ice accumulations so far:

City Ice Accumulations
Ellsworth 0.50"
Gypsum 0.45"
Chase 3W 0.40"
Lincoln 0.40"
Great Bend 5N 0.40"
Lucas 2E 0.33"
Lyons 0.30"
Hillsboro 0.30"
Russell 0.25"
Hutchinson 0.25"
Cottonwood Falls 0.25"
Wichita Eisenhower National 0.20"
Augusta 0.10"

Friday Morning 7:30AM

Friday Morning 6:20AM

Friday Morning 5:30AM

A Winter Storm Warning has been expanded into North Central Kansas until 3PM this afternoon. Over one quarter inch of ice has fallen, or is expected to fall in the pink area below. 

Here's a look at ice accumulations so far today: 

City Ice Accumulation
Lucas 2E 0.33"
Russell 0.25"
Great Bend 0.25"
Wichita Eisenhower National 0.20"
Hillsboro 0.15"
Downtown Wichita 0.10"

Friday Morning 1:54AM

Friday Morning 1:45AM

Thursday Afternoon Update

A KAKE First Alert - Winter Weather Alert for overnight into Friday at noon,

Freezing rain continues to be the primary threat overnight into Friday morning..

Thursday Morning Update

A messy storm system on the way to KAKEland with all forms of precipitation likely Thursday evening through Friday. While light snow is possible the bulk of the precipitation is expected to fall as sleet and freezing rain before it changes over to rain as temperatures eventually climb above freezing. The sleet and freezing rain could lead to a slick Friday morning for much of the state.

Light snow and wintry mix will slide into Southwest Kansas during the mid to late afternoon hours on Thursday. Some light snow flurries may also try to fall in Wichita and South Central Kansas by the end of drive time. The snow is expected to be short lived this evening with sleet and freezing rain spreading north and east through the overnight. The freezing rain and sleet will continue throughout the overnight across Southwest, North Central and South Central Kansas through the overnight.

During the morning hours of Friday some light freezing rain will be possible in Northwest Kansas before the entire system starts sliding east. Temperatures will gradually warm enough on Friday that the mixed precipitation should change over to "normal" rain by mid to late morning. This change over to rain will gradually improve road conditions. Rain is expected to exit KAKEland during the late afternoon hours. 

As mentioned, freezing rain is the biggest concern with this system. The freezing rain accumulation across Western Kansas will generally be less that 0.10" with 0.1" to 0.3" for South Central Kansas, including Wichita. 

The combination of sleet and freezing rain could lead to slick roads late Thursday through the morning hours of Friday. The most impacted areas will be roads that go untreated along with sidewalks and parking lots. Ice accumulation on above ground objects like trees and power lines is expected but major damage to trees and infrastructure is not anticipated at this time.

A very large Winter Weather Advisory goes into effect for nearly all of KAKEland Thursday afternoon and will continue through mid day on Friday. Caution should be used if you are traveling Thursday night through Friday.

For a smooth and problem free Friday we suggest you get up a little early on Friday and check the weather conditions before you head out the door. The KAKE First Alert Weather Team will send you a push alert, on the KAKE First Alert weather app, early in the day to advise you of road conditions and changes to the forecast. It is a good idea to plan extra time to scrape off your car and to add some time to your morning commute. If at all possible, it may be best to delay travel on Friday until the temperatures warm above freezing.

An often over looked component of this forecast is the impressive liquid precipitation totals on the way. This system will bring abnormally high totals for January standards in what has been a soggy January so far. Western Kansas can count on less than 0.25" while North and South Central Kansas could see 0.25"-0.75" of liquid equivalent. Southeast Kansas could approach or top 1" through Friday.

Stay tuned for updates and alerts. Minor changes in temperature can lead to major changes to precipitation type and impact. 

We’ll keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. With the app you can track storms in your area, stream the latest forecast videos and live severe weather coverage, and set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.

Check Wichita road conditions at WichWay.org and check road conditions across the state at KanDrive.org.

Wednesday Afternoon Update

It's becoming more clear that although some snow and sleet may fall in Kansas this week, the primary threat is freezing rain.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for most of Kansas from 5 p.m. Thursday through noon Friday. See alerts here.

The biggest question: How soon will we warm back above freezing Friday?

We’ll keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. With the app you can track storms in your area, stream the latest forecast videos and live severe weather coverage, and set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.

Check Wichita road conditions at WichWay.org and check road conditions across the state at KanDrive.org.

Wednesday Morning Update

Our next weather make rolls into KAKEland late Thursday into the day on Friday. This system will approach from the south and will bring a wide range of precipitation to the state. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain will all be possible for most of KAKEland and precipitation totals could be impressive and impactful.

Late in the day Thursday, light snow is expected to enter Southwest Kansas and gradually spread north and east. As this snow slides toward the I-135 corridor, it will likely become more mixed with sleet and freezing rain possible. The bulk of the precipitation for North and South Central Kansas late Thursday into Friday morning is expected to be freezing rain and sleet with brief spurts of snow possible. 

Temperatures in South Central Kansas are expected to warm above freezing Friday morning and that will change the wintry mixed precipitation to rainfall. Rain will likely continue in South Central Kansas through the early afternoon. The rain could be quite significant for South Central Kansas for January standards with many spots seeing 0.5"+.

At this time, it appears that overall snow accumulation with this system is expected to be quite low. Weather models show the most likely zone for snow accumulation in North Central and across Western Kansas and over all totals look slim. Some sleet accumulation will be possible, especially in North Central Kansas. Snow and sleet accumulation together in North Central Kansas could approach 2" in the heaviest areas.

Roads conditions should be monitored closely Thursday night through Friday morning. Freezing rain could lead to very slick roads for the Friday morning commute. Conditions will likely improve throughout the morning as rain is expected to help melt away the morning ice accumulation.

Mixed precipitation forecasts like this are very tricky. Minor changes in temperature can lead to major changes in precipitation type and overall impact. At this time with temperatures forecast to hit 32° Friday morning, it is best to plan on a slick commute. If temperatures are a bit warmer, the vast majority of precipitation in across South Central Kansas and Wichita would be rain and the commute would be slow but not overly slick. Stay tune for updates and alerts as this forecast evolves.

Tuesday Afternoon Update

Freezing rain and snow will develop over KAKEland Thursday afternoon and move northeastward across Kansas.

The wintery precipitation will change to all rain as warmer air is drawn into the strengthening storm system. The timing and severity of this event is still to be determined.

We’ll keep you up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. Get those features and more on the free First Alert Weather App. With the app you can track storms in your area, stream the latest forecast videos and live severe weather coverage, and set customized alerts to keep you and your family informed and safe.

Check Wichita road conditions at WichWay.org and check road conditions across the state at KanDrive.org.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE