Spring snows reach Wichita early Tuesday


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Spring is expected to take a turn Tuesday, and the Kansas Department of Transportation is ready with snow plows around Wichita if the need arises.

“In the overnight hours, we’ve got crews coming into Wichita at midnight,” said Tom Hein with KDOT.

Many in Wichita got outside Monday to enjoy the sunshine ahead of any Tuesday snow and cold.

“We usually go about 10 to 12 miles,” said Laura, who was out biking with her two dogs at Sedgwick County park on Monday. “I won’t be out in the cold and snow.”

Summer flowers and vegetables like tomatoes or peppers should not be out as well.

“Bring them inside into the garage overnight and put them back out the next day,” said Matthew McKernan with Kansas State Extension.

McKernan says coverings will also do the trick with a blanket if you can’t get them inside.

“With plant coverings what we are trying to do is trap ground heat,” he said. “So you want to use rocks or stake those tarps.”

Farmers can’t cover crops like wheat and corn. They will be watching ground temperatures closely.

“With corn, it depends on the growth stage right now,” said Jeff Seiler, an extension ag agent with Kansas State. “Our soil temperatures right now we’re sitting pretty good.”

Seiler says the magic number is ground temps that drop to low to mid-40’s for an extended time.

“We could see some problems with corn trying to get out of the ground,” said Seiler. “Could damage that seedling emerging or we could even lose some of those plants.”

KDOT says it is not applying mass amounts of brine to treat the roads ahead of the rain/snow mix that may come to Wichita Tuesday.

“We are ready to plow if it gets to a plowable depth,” said Hein. “We are ready to treat roads on a large scale if that is needed. We have plenty of salt and plenty of brine ready to go.”

Whatever comes Tuesday, Kansans out enjoying moderate weather Monday know things can change literally overnight.

“It always changes,” said Laura. “You never know what you are going to get.”

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