Ice and snow: Watch how Wichita is preparing for New Year winter storm


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The City of Wichita held a briefing Thursday on the upcoming winter storm expected this weekend in Kansas. Last year, 6.5 inches of snow fell on New Year’s Day in Wichita.

The current Storm Track 3 Weather Forecast says the storm will start on New Year’s Eve. This is when moisture will begin to develop. Rain will start to move in from the southeast and snow will start to fall to the northwest.

Moisture will blossom and fill into more of the area during the overnight. Rain in Wichita will switch to a wintry mix with snow showers to the north and west. This is what we will see to start the New Year in the morning. Accumulating snow is likely along with some ice farther southeast where there will not be as much snow.

Ben Nelson, Wichita Public Works and Utilities, said the city will have 60 plows working on 1,500 lane miles. He said the trucks are ready to go, and the first shift will likely start at 6 p.m. Friday. Nelson said the city will not pretreat roads.

“Because the event is beginning with the rain, we are not applying a brine treatment.”

Nelson said the city has quite a bit of salt and sand in reserve.

He adds that traffic should be lighter because the storm will fall on a weekend and a holiday. However, he warns drivers that the roads could be slick coming home from New Year’s Eve events. He advises drivers to keep a safe distance and be extra cautious around intersections, hills and curbs.

To track the snow plows in Wichita, click here.

See how the Kansas Department of Transportation is preparing for the upcoming storm.

If you plan to travel, make sure to put together an emergency winter car kit.

Winter Emergency Car Kit

  • Full tank of fuel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow rope
  • Cell phone charger
  • First aid kit
  • Bag of kitty litter or sand
  • Shovel and ice scraper/snow brush
  • Flashlight
  • Extra gloves/hats/warm clothes
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water and non-perishable snacks

Winter Driving Safety Tips

  • Make sure your vehicle is winter ready by checking its fluids, tires and heating system
  • Keep your gas tank full and have your winter emergency kit ready
  • Do not use cruise control
  • If you begin slide, look and steer and where you want to go
  • Buckle up
  • If you don’t have to drive, stay home
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Allow for more time to get to your destination and increase your distance between vehicles
  • Don’t crowd snow plows, or travel beside them. Increase your following distance

KDOT Pages

To see Kansas Road Conditions, click here or call 511.

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