Winter Weather Update, February 15

Published on February 15, 2024

Photograph of a snowplow truck exiting a garage to begin working on local streets in Kansas City, Kansas

The latest forecast indicates temperatures will fall below freezing tonight. Snow showers are expected to begin around 6 AM on Friday, with heavy snow bands possible before noon. Temperatures will rebound quickly tomorrow, bringing road and air temperatures above freezing. Up to one inch of snow is possible.

The Snow Crew is on duty and will respond as needed tonight and tomorrow morning. Bridges and hilly areas have been pre-treated with salt brine.

Please slow down and pay close attention to road conditions during tomorrow morning's commute. 

For more information on winter weather operations, answers to frequently asked questions, and insights into Public Works’ Snow & Ice Removal policy, please visit

To report a service issue, dial 3-1-1 or visit

While the Snow Crew is working, keep the following in mind:

The Goal is to Return Traction to Streets

The purpose of winter weather operations isn't to clean and clear streets. The goal is to restore traction to streets so that motorists can be as safe as possible. Restoring traction to streets can be a tricky business, but there are generally four ways traction can be restored to streets during winter weather:

  1. Restoring traction by plowing
  2. Restoring traction by using salt
  3. Restoring traction by using sand
  4. Restoring traction by using a combination of plowing, salting, and sanding

When temperatures fall below 15-degrees Fahrenheit, the salt melts ice and snow more slowly. The colder it is outside, the longer it takes salt to do its work, which impacts winter weather operations. During some storms, traction can be restored by moving snow away from roads with plows, and in other storms, traction can be restored by using only a salt treatment. In other cases, plowing a street may reduce traction - especially in neighborhoods. 

When snow becomes tightly packed, ice forms underneath. In these instances, drivers may not plow because removing the top layer of snowpack would leave a solid sheet of ice that salt treatment cannot melt quickly or efficiently. Although it seems counterintuitive, a small amount of snowpack can increase traction and keep motorists safer than they may otherwise be.

How Much Salt Melts 1 lb of Ice?

Salt is one of the many tools the Snow Crew uses to return traction to streets. Unfortunately, it becomes less effective the colder it is outside.

As temperatures decline below 15-degrees Fahrenheit, salt treatment works more slowly. The following chart illustrates how much ice one pound of salt can melt, depending on the temperature:

A chart displaying how much ice one pound of salt can melt based on temperature

When temperatures are extremely low, you may not see much melting, but that doesn't mean the salt isn't there. Remember to be patient and slow down if you're out.

Avoid Parking on the Street

Don’t park in the street whenever possible. It is dangerous and difficult to plow streets congested with parked vehicles. Some streets may not be plowed if plows cannot safely maneuver them.

The most helpful thing residents can do to facilitate snow removal is to get their cars off the street and encourage others to do the same. Residents with no other option other than on-street parking should park as close to the curb as possible.

Help Keep Snow Out of Your Driveway

One of the most frequent concerns in the removal of snow from public streets is snow being pushed back into driveways during plowing operations. As plows travel along streets, the snow accumulated on the plow blade has no place to go but on the adjacent streets and in driveways. The more snow that has fallen, the greater the problem will be.A graphic showing how to properly shovel a driveway to help prevent snow from being pushed back into it by a snowplow

  • Residents can reduce the likelihood of snow blocking their driveway by shoveling snow to the right while facing the street. Doing this will help snowplow drivers avoid carrying piles from the “upstream” side back across driveways.
  • In addition, shoving or blowing snow/ice into streets may cause hazardous conditions to other drivers. Residents and property owners are encouraged to follow the directions above in both commercial and residential areas.

More Winter Weather Tips

For more tips, view or download Public Works’ Helpful Tips for the Winter Season PDF.