*An ice storm warning is in effect for Osage, Coffey, Douglas, Franklin, and Anderson counties until noon on Thursday.*
**A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the rest of northeast Kansas through noon on Thursday.**
Areas of light freezing drizzle will continue to be a concern for the rest of the day, resulting in a thin glaze of ice in places. Even a light glazing of ice is enough to create slick roads and pavements, so take it slow and easy out there!
It will continue to be mainly just a chance of freezing drizzle through the afternoon as a warm layer of air continues to sit higher up in the atmosphere, as opposed to temperatures closer to the surface staying in the teens and 20s.
However, there have been some improvement in road conditions in spots. Even though it’s cloudy outside, limited sunshine can still get through. (That’s why it’s still light out instead of being pitch black like night.) That filtered sunshine that has gotten through has been able to melt some of the ice in conjunction with the treatment road crews have been implemented. More prominent slick spots and sheets of ice will still be likely on untreated roads and sidewalks.
Better plumes of moisture are expected to work in later this evening, instead of just the low level moisture that has resulted in the freezing drizzle today. Temperatures at a higher level will continue to be above freezing shortly after sunset, with teens and 20s closer to the surface. That will result in better chances of freezing rain as opposed to drizzle, but eventually the colder air will start to infilitrate the higher levels as our next arctic cold front moves in.
What does that mean for you? The precipitation will start to transition over from forming as drizzle at first, to more of a frozen variety, lessening the chance of freezing rain and drizzle over time. But, this colder air will move in from northwest to southeast, so that change over will take a little longer to reach some areas as opposed to others.
There is a widespread chance of freezing rain and snow late this evening into the overnight hours across northeast Kansas, which is why the entire region is under at least an advisory. However, the southeastern areas are the most likely to see freezing rain, and higher amounts of it.
The southeastern areas will be the place that hold onto the above freezing temperatures higher up in the atmosphere the longest as more moisture moves in, so ice accretions are expected to be higher there. Ice totals could near 0.2″-0.4″ in some southeastern areas, which could be enough to bring down some tree limbs and even result in some sporadic power outages. Higher ice totals are expected outside of the viewing area, further south along the Kansas-Missouri border, and crossing into Missouri. Ice storm warnings are in effect for more of Missouri, including Kansas City, so just be mindful of that if you have to head into Missouri tonight and Thursday morning.
A transition over from freezing rain/drizzle, to sleet, and finally snow, will happen first to the northwest-west, and gradually spread to the east-southeast as that cold front completely clears the region Thursday morning.
For the morning commute on Thursday, most spots will just have a chance of snow at that point. Again, the exception will be to the southeast, which will be the last to see the freezing rain transition completely over to snow.
A wintry mix of freezing rain to snow will continue to push off to the east as the morning progresses, and all of northeast Kansas looks to be dry by noon on Thursday, with a gradually clearing sky for the second half of the day.
Snow accumulations won’t be all too much, but could still result in more slick spots with ice directly underneath it. By the time the transition over to snow completely happens, it’ll only be a quick burst of it before the system completely clears out. That will result in little to no accumulation as totals stay below an inch for most.
Not only could you run into some wintry precipitation Thursday morning, but it will be bitterly cold. That arctic cold front will bring with it some strong north and northwest winds. Winds will be sustained at 20 to 25 mph, but gusts could exceed 30 mph at times. Morning temperatures in the teens will feel more like the single digits, and even a few degrees below zero for some northern areas.
Temperatures themselves won’t rebound much for Thursday either. Even as some sunshine emerges, high temperatures will only get into the teens and 20s. Couple that with that high wind, and wind chills throughout the day will continue to stay in the single digits and a few degrees below zero.
The wind will gradually start to lighten up Thursday night into Friday morning as temperatures bottom out in the single digits for the southern half of the region, with lows right around 0° for the northern half. With temperatures already that cold, it doesn’t take much of a breeze to add that extra cold bite to the air.
With a morning wind of just 5 to 10 mph, wind chills will range from right around 0° to the south, to closer to -10° to -15° further to the north and northwest.
Some improvement finally returns for Friday afternoon. A mostly sunny sky will go along with high temperatures in the upper teens through the mid 20s, with wind chills pretty close to that throughout the day.
It gets even warmer for the weekend, just not quite as warm as last weekend. Saturday and Sunday will see highs in the 30s and low 40s, but there will be another chance of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning.