Arctic air sticking around through week

Experts offer tips to stay warm and save money as temperatures tumble dangerously low.
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 6:40 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The snowfall forecast doesn’t call for much moisture, but cold air is sticking around through the week. A warmup is in store by the end of the weekend, but before the relief comes days with below freezing highs and dangerous overnight lows.

Light snow accumulations are expected for Kansas.
Light snow accumulations are expected for Kansas.(KWCH)

Thursday brings the chance for snow with a high of 22 and a low of just seven. One week following a major storm that dumped several inches of snow on much of south-central Kansas, including Wichita, the next system isn’t expected to drop more than about an inch of snow anywhere in Kansas.

Friday warms back up into the low 30s, followed by a break Saturday with a high near 40 and a significant warmup into the upper 50s and 60s for next week.

Road conditions shouldn’t deteriorate as much as last week with the upcoming system, but the light snow and cold temperatures could make impact the morning commute. Storm Team 12 advises giving yourself an extra couple of minutes to get where you need to be Thursday morning.

While dangerous cold and winter precipitation are familiar partners with the month of February, there are pieces of advice worth relaying and often repeating to stay warm and travel safely.

Starting at home, the cost to stay warm during this time will rise, Dan’s Heating and Cooling General Manager Mike McDowell warned. He emphasized the importance of making sure you’re taking care of your heating system because you may be waiting in a long line for help.

“We have a lot of folks calling, furnace can’t keep up and it’s tripping and turning off because of safety because it just can’t push the air through,” McDowell said. “And we go, and we pull out a filter that looks like a dead cat. You need to keep it clean if you want to heat your home.”

Clean and replace those filters and keep your home set at a comfortable temperature, even when you’re not there. McDowell said he doesn’t advise turning your thermostat low when you’re gone because it will take more energy to warm your home back up.

If you must spend any extended time outdoors during the cold snap, especially early Thursday morning, health officials serve reminders that are worth repeating. With conditions like what’s expected Thursday morning and the low temperature in single digits, it’s important to bundle up and try limit exposure to skin.

Ascension Via Christi Burn Unit Coordinator Sarah Fischer said it can only take minutes for frostbite to set in.

“Depending on the temperature outside, especially when we have those sub-zero windchills in the negative teens, frostbite can happen in less than five minutes,” she said.

During the current cold snap that began Tuesday night, Fischer said there have already been multiple people admitted to the hospital, treated for cold-related injuries to their skin. She indicated some may have been caught off guard with temperatures plummeting following Tuesday’s afternoon high around 70 in Wichita.

“From wearing shorts one day to having to bundle up in layers the next, we’ve seen quite a few patients,” Fischer said. “I want to say we’re above 10, getting closer to 20.”

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