Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Change in the weather

Sleet creates icy glaze in city, area

November 29, 2006, 4:39 p.m.

Updated: November 29, 2006, 7:00 p.m.

Temperatures dropped more than 40 degrees in the 24-hour period, ending at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and Lansing and the region are experiencing their first winter storm of the season.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature in Lansing was 68 degrees and the weather was more akin to spring than mid-autumn. By 3 p.m. Wednesday, the temperature had plummeted to 27 degrees and a sheen of sleet was glazing the city's streets.

An ice storm warning has been issued for the area until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said he knew of two cars that had landed in ditches on Kansas Highway 5 east of the city, but no reports of weather-related accidents had been reported in the city as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"The roads are slushy-slick," Wayman said. "As long as you take it easy, though, you should be all right."

But Wayman wasn't guaranteeing conditions wouldn't worsen.

"Once it gets dark, colder and the wind picks up, I suspect everything's going to glaze over. I think everything will grind to a screeching halt around 8 tonight."

Lansing schools had not called off classes for Thursday as of 7 p.m. Thursday. City crews were out sanding and salting Lansing streets.

The overnight forecast called for occasional freezing rain possibly mixed with sleet, and mixing with snow after 3 a.m. Thursday. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch was possible, forecasters said.

An ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible. Travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Ice accumulations and winds will likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches that add to the danger, the National Weather Service said.

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