Thursday, February 8, 2018

Winter weather recap: Mid-week snow storm photos

Parts of the state saw snow on Tuesday, while some waited for snow that never came. According to the Topeka National Weather Service in twitter page, there was limited moisture in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The snow was “eaten,” when the snow sublimated, or dried up from the dry air between the surface and 5,000 feet. 

The National Weather Service in Topeka shared this post about what happened
to the snow that was expected for parts of the state.
In the counties that did receive snow fall totals, KDOT crews were hard at work, treating the roads. Here are some photos from the field.

Crews from southwest Kansas treat roads along K-96 from Dighton to Ness City earlier this week. 
Crews from northwest Kansas treat roads along U.S. 36 in Phillips County during the winter storm. 

Crews from north central Kansas work to clear the roads around Concordia during Tuesday's storm.
One of our Public Affairs Managers from north central Kansas had the opportunity to ride along with a KDOT crew from Concordia as they worked to clear the roads. In each of the newer trucks, monitors are mounted to provide real-time information that crews can use to monitor how much brine remains in the tanks, and the air and road temperatures.  

Monitors like this one are mounted inside newer KDOT trucks to allow crews to see how effective the equipment is working. 

According to Jim Frye, KDOT’s Field Maintenance Manager, KDOT crews rely on this information to understand how to treat the roads. Surface temperature is an important factor. If a road is less than 32 degrees and moisture is in the area, the roads can be treated. Bridges freeze faster than other road surfaces because the air flow beneath can cause any moisture to freeze a lot faster. For example, if the regular road surface is 34 degrees, the surface of a bridge could actually be somewhere around 29 degrees and the bridge could be treated.

A second monitor is used by KDOT crews to show what the road and air temperature is. In this photo, the air temperature was 12 degrees, while the road temperature was warmer, at 17 degrees. This monitor also shows how much brine solution is left in the tank. 

The air temperature is also important, especially if its bitterly cold, or the wind is blowing.

KDOT recently acquired new trucks for crews to use throughout the year. We got a chance to ride along on a test drive, so check back next week for an in-depth look at how KDOT uses technology to combat winter weather. 
A view from the passenger seat looking into the rearview mirror shows the wing plow, a second, smaller plow that extends off the side of the truck, in action as it works to help clear to roads.
More winter weather could be on the way this weekend, so remember to drive for conditions. If the snow arrives, give our crews plenty of room to work. And check out for updated road conditions. 

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