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Wichita reaches record New Year’s Day snowfall

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 10:20 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update Friday evening, Jan. 1, 2020: Six-and-one-half inches fell in Wichita on New Year’s Day, shattering a 96-year-old record for the day. The snowfall total was the most the Wichita area has seen in several years. While families across the area enjoyed the day playing in the snow and building snowmen that stood taller than most people, a downside came with difficult road conditions that led to several crashes. Crews were busy working to clear the roads as the snow let up early Friday afternoon.

Storm Team 12 reports possible flurries in south-central and eastern Kansas from about midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday, but nothing like what we experienced Friday morning is expected. Storm Team 12 Meteorologist Sarah Fletcher said the overnight flurries will leave little accumulation and it shouldn’t impact Saturday. With the year’s first winter storm cleared, Storm Team 12 forecasts mostly sunny and mild days through next week with a chance for shows on Wednesday (Jan. 6).

Update noon Friday, Jan. 1, 2021: The National Weather Service Friday morning reported five inches of snow measured at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, beating the previous New Year’s Day record of 4.2 inches measured in 1925.

Storm Team 12 meteorologist Jake Dunne said by early Wednesday afternoon, parts of the Wichita area could expect six to seven inches of snow. While many across the area enjoy the snow, city crews are out working to clear the roadways. As of noon, several slick spots remained as the snow began to let up. The Emergency Accident Reporting Plan remains in effect.

(UPDATE: 7:00 a.m) Road conditions deteriorated quickly Friday morning as we begin 2021 with a major snow storm. Keep track of road conditions using the links below.

The Emergency Accident Reporting Plan is in effect for Wichita. That means, if you’re in a fender bender and neither driver is impaired, simply exchange information with the other driver and fill out an accident report online. You’ll find those at QuikTrip stores and online here: EARP Form

Kansas Road Conditions

Wichita Road Conditions

Wichita Snow Plow Tracker

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The City of Wichita is preparing for winter weather that will move into the region later New Year’s Eve.

Ben Nelson with the City of Wichita said that the city will treat the roads as if they’re preparing for four to six inches of snow. Storm Team 12 is predicting three to six inches of snow for the Wichita Metro.

“As always we encourage people to reduce and minimize the amount of travel to make,” Nelson said. “Maintain a safe and much longer following distances between vehicles in front of them.”

Pretreatment of roads will begin after 6 p.m. to prevent sand and salt being pushed off the road during the evening commute.

“It’s not helpful or effective for any precipitation that falls after midnight,” Nelson said about pretreating roads later in the day.

Nelson noted that without precipitation before treating roads, salt and sand has a harder time staying on the roads, especially with a busy commute.

You can track snow plows with the City of Wichita here.

Winter Weather Update December 31, 2020

Wichita Public Works & Utilities staff provide and update on the upcoming winter storm.

Posted by City of Wichita- Government on Thursday, December 31, 2020

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