Sean Sandefur File Photo

The city of Wichita is preparing for some iffy weather coming up just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays.

It all starts with drizzle and rain as a cold front drops into south central Kansas. Rain is expected to turn to sleet and freezing rain through Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter advisory. The worst of the system is expected to reach the Flint Hills by Friday morning. An accumulation of a quarter of an inch of ice is possible.

The Wichita Public Works Department is standing by with 61 plows equipped with sand and salt spreaders.

MoDOT, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Transportation has added new technology to help clear highways of snow this winter.

Snow might not be in the forecast today, but roads are still slick due to six to nine inches of snow.

Here are some of today's closures:

Area Schools and Colleges:

Wichita Public Schools, Wichita State University, Cowley College, Wichita Area Technical College, Butler Community College, Newman University, and Friends University (including Topeka and Lenexa campuses) are among the schools that are closed today.

Southwestern College Professional Studies in Wichita will open at 10 am.

Carla Eckels

While some businesses closed early due to the weather or low customer traffic, others were hopping--like pizza places and other delivery joints.

And, merchandise was flying off the shelves at local hardware stores.

Brian Sollo pulled one of the remaining black shovels off the rack at Williams Ace Hardware store in east Wichita yesterday.

"My driveway is full of snow and I don't have a shovel so I figured I'd come get one," Sollo said. / Kansas Department of Transportation

Update: Wichita State University has canceled classes for Wednesday.  

Update: Wichita Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 5th.

Update: Southwestern College has decided to close all campuses today, including its main Winfield campus.

The snow storm we've been preparing for is finally here. Almost all schools in the area are closed, as well as universities and many larger employers.

Closings on Tuesday, February 4:

K-12 Schools:

All Wichita Public Schools.

The City of Wichita has planned for Tuesday's snow storm.

Wichita Public Works and Utilities deputy director Joe Pajor said 50 trucks will plow nonstop until roadways are clear.

Pajor says it takes about 24 hours to cover every bit of our snow emergency routes, and it would be a while before they get to clear pavement.

Wichita should see the worst of the storm early today, with snowfall estimates as high as 7 inches.

City officials say they'll spread a salt and sand mixture on the streets only after they're clear of snow pack.

Governor Sam Brownback wants Kansans to take extra precautions during this winter storm.

He's asking Kansans to stay off the roads and avoid travel if at all possible.

"If you do have prepared," Brownback says. "If you can help us out by not being on the road...don't be on the road."

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Mike King says the high winds expected with this storm will make clearing the roads especially difficult.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

During last month’s back-to-back snow storms, the Kansas Department of Transportation reports their snow crews pretreated and plowed nearly 880,000 miles of highway – enough to circle the earth 35 times.


Winter Storms Q and Rocky (weeks of Feb. 18 and 25)

Gov. Sam Brownback is praising state emergency, law enforcement and highway officials for their "all hands on deck" response to the recent snow storms.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

During a City Council Workshop Tuesday, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer thanked the city maintenance crew that cleared snow from streets.

"Through this entire time frame, through both of the snows, we have to say hats off to our guys that were out there working the streets," said Brewer.

Brewer said the crew worked through the first storm and then immediately prepared for the next one to come in.

"They did an outstanding job in getting our streets all taken care of and getting them all cleaned up." said Brewer.