Local TV and the National Weather Service had been talking up a possible serious ice storm for the weekend of January 14th and 15th. Of course our flight out was early in the morning on the 14th. I started to feel more confident that we’d be able to get out of here because everyone was forecasting that Friday night/Saturday morning would not be a big deal. The real storm wasn’t forecast to start until late Saturday. Good news, or so I thought. The NWS went ahead and issued an ice storm warning for Friday through Sunday. Below is from the local NWS site. Notice that even though they put the warning in effect for 6 PM Friday night that they are calling for the real ice late Saturday night. They are only calling for a couple hundredths of an inch of freezing rain Friday night. There were already massive amounts of salt down on the roads. KCI airport has dealt with light freezing rain in the past and they have plenty of de-icing gear for the planes.
Ice Storm Warning
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KANSAS CITY/PLEASANT HILL MO 1033 AM CST FRI JAN 13 2017 ...ICE STORM EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND... .PERIODS OF SIGNIFICANT ICING ARE LIKELY ACROSS THE AREA THIS WEEKEND...STARTING LATE THIS MORNING ACROSS AREAS MAINLY SOUTH OF HIGHWAY 50 AND SPREADING NORTHWARD TOWARDS INTERSTATE 70 THROUGH THE EVENING. PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN WILL OVERSPREAD ALL OF THE AREA BY SATURDAY NIGHT. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ICING IS EXPECTED SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING. PRECIPITATION WILL GRADUALLY CHANGE OVER TO RAIN FROM SOUTH TO NORTH SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. KSZ103>105-MOZ025-028>032-037-140300- /O.EXT.KEAX.IS.W.0001.170114T0000Z-170116T0600Z/ LEAVENWORTH-WYANDOTTE-JOHNSON KS-MACON-PLATTE-CLAY-RAY-CARROLL- CHARITON-JACKSON- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF FORT LEAVENWORTH, LEAVENWORTH, LANSING, KANSAS CITY KANSAS, OVERLAND PARK, STANLEY, OLATHE, SHAWNEE, LENEXA, MACON, LA PLATA, PARKVILLE, PLATTE CITY, RIVERSIDE, WEATHERBY LAKE, WESTON, GLADSTONE, LIBERTY, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, RICHMOND, LAWSON, CARROLLTON, SALISBURY, BRUNSWICK, KEYTESVILLE, KANSAS CITY, AND INDEPENDENCE 1033 AM CST FRI JAN 13 2017 ...ICE STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT CST SUNDAY NIGHT... * TIMING...LIGHT PRECIPITATION WILL BEGIN THIS EVENING...WITH PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON OR EVENING. THE HEAVIEST PERIODS OF ICE ACCUMULATION WILL BE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING. * ICE ACCUMULATIONS...THIS EVENING ICE TOTALS WILL RANGE FROM A LIGHT GLAZE TO A COUPLE HUNDRETHS OF AN INCH. EXPECT TOTAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS DURING THE MULTI-DAY PERIOD OF ONE-QUARTER TO AROUND ONE-HALF OF AN INCH. * MAIN IMPACT...MAJOR IMPACTS TO TRAVEL ARE LIKELY AS ICE ACCUMULATES ON AREA ROADWAYS. BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES WILL BE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO ICE ACCRETION. ICE ACCUMULATION ON TREES AND POWERLINES MAY RESULT IN SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... 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. COMMERCE WILL LIKELY BE SEVERELY IMPACTED. 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.
So, imagine my surprise when I get a text from Vicki early Friday morning that the flight had been cancelled. I paid the 15 bucks for early bird so I didn’t have to mess with checking in while on the way to work. Southwest cancelled everything out of KCI for Saturday morning! No other airline was even showing any delays for Saturday morning, much less flight cancellations. Are you for real Southwest!? Even an amateur meteorologist knew the ice storm wasn’t going to do a damn thing Friday night into Saturday morning. So now we’re scrambling to try to find a flight out of here to get to Houston in the morning. Debated driving to Houston, about 14 hours from home to Hobby. Was informed that unless we flew into Hobby from our scheduled flight that they wouldn’t let us board. Found a flight from Midway to Montego Bay that left Saturday morning. I’m willing to drive most of the night to still get out Saturday morning. Southwest was not a fan of that. Our flight had already been changed once and they didn’t want to change it again.
Plus, I was told that they were putting Chicago on the list of airports that might start cancelling flights. So we’re stuck in KC until Monday morning.
I do admire that Southwest was concerned about passenger safety but their Meteorologists had to see that nothing bad was going to happen Friday night/Saturday morning. Every other airline got all of their flights out Saturday morning without any problems. I believe that an entire 2 hundredths of an inch of freezing rain fell that Friday night. Extremely disappointed in Southwest! Yes, I know, first world problems. Yes that is correct. But when you invest a significant amount of money on a flight and every other airline gets everything out on time you can be a little disappointed. Southwest was going to be my next points credit card since I seem to fly them more than most other airlines. But, that decision is now on hold.
So, day one was spent breaking out the Champagne for mimosa’s in the morning followed by a leftover burger and a couple IPA’s in the afternoon.