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Enough snow for a snowman? Here’s what to expect through the night in Wichita

The perfect snow to build a snowman

Aaron Pearce of Charlotte, NC finally got the sticky snow that he has been waiting for to build a snowman on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Pearce decided to build a snowman along a walking path at McAlpine Creek Park in east Charlotte. The creation
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Aaron Pearce of Charlotte, NC finally got the sticky snow that he has been waiting for to build a snowman on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Pearce decided to build a snowman along a walking path at McAlpine Creek Park in east Charlotte. The creation

The first significant snow of the season is expected to fall in Wichita Sunday night, and that might just be enough to build a snowman on Monday.

Meteorologists are forecasting 2 to 4 inches of snow to fall over the city through the night, according to a tweet from the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service.

Kevin Darmofal, a meteorologist with the Wichita branch, said he expects 1 to 3 of those inches to begin falling tonight as it gets dark. He said the snow will then continue falling “off and on” through Monday morning.

When asked if this would be enough snow to make a snowball, Darmofal said Wichitans may even be able to build a snowman, but it depends on the water content of the snow.

“Too high a temperature and the snow will be wet and lack strength,” Quartz reported in the The science of building the perfect snowman. “If the snow is too cold and dry, it will be too powdery to form stable snowballs, which are then built out into the base, torso, and head of the snowman.”

Darmofal said just a few days ago, in the Central part of the state, Kansans were building snowmen with just a few inches of snow. He suggested that Wichitans may be able to do the same if there are at least 2 to 3 inches of snow.

Michael Oyer posted a photo of snowman that was built with 3 to 4 inches of snow last week in Hesston, about 36 miles north of Wichita.

The morning commute

The expected snowfall “will likely impact the Mon morning commute,” according to a tweet from NWS Wichita. Darmofal said a few inches of snow could be on the ground before the 8 a.m. commuters hit the road.

“The morning commute could be dicey with snow in the area,” he said. “If we get snow like we expect, especially this first significant snow of the season, allow for some extra time.”

And even if there’s not much snow, he said the roads will likely still be slick and could be icy.

NWS Wichita forecasts that “Monday morning wind chills are expected to be in the 10 to 15 degree range for much of the area.”

Winter is here and AAA of Kansas has tips to ready your car for snow. Music by bensound.com (Video by Candi Bolden/The Wichita Eagle/ Dec. 6, 2017)

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