- A Review of the Weather in 2011 (part 2) -
Monthly Climate Information


Monthly climate information, featured stories, and records are listed below.  Use the quick links below to jump to a specific month.  Also, at the end of the page, look for links to our 2011 office newsletter, 'The Quarterly Hail.'

January February March April May June
July August September October November December


- January -

NWS employee, Mike Reed takes a snow core measurement on January 10. January was a cold and snowy month, and made the record books for being in the 'Top 3' snowiest Januarys on record. Ice jams developed along the Platte River and resulted in lowland flooding, primarily affecting areas adjacent to the river from southeast of Kearney to locations south of Odessa. The ice jams migrated westward as the river ice froze, and then would return east as temperatures rose above freezing. The ice jams caused intermittent lowland flooding through the entire month.
NWS employee, Mike Reed takes a snow core measurement on January 10.  


- January 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 28.5 28.6
29.7
Average Low (F) 8.7 10.2
8.5
Average Temperature (F) 18.6
19.4
19.1
Departure from Normal -6.5 -6.6 -5.5
 
Precipitation (inches) 1.49 1.00 0.86
Departure From Normal (inches)  +0.96 +0.59 +0.37
 
Snowfall (inches) 18.7 20.0 15.6
Departure from Normal (inches) +12.1 +14.0 +11.2
Featured Stories
  • January 7: Strong winds developed in a tight pressure gradient, with wind gusts over 40 and 50 mph.
  • January 8-10: The first widespread snowfall of the season arrived. Snow amounts ranged from 5-12 inches.
  • January 19: Snowfall with amounts upwards of eight inches blanketed much of south central Nebraska and north central Kansas.
  • January 31: The month ended with a snowstorm, this time accompanied by strong winds which caused significant blowing and drifting snow.
  • January 1-31: January 2011 made the record books for making the 'Top 3' snowiest January on record at Grand Island and Hastings.
 
Records
      • 1/9 - Grand Island: New calendar snowfall record of 8.2 inches. The previous record was 4.7 inches in 1993.
      • 1/9 - Grand Island: New daily precipitation record of 0.73 inch. The previous record was 0.30 inch in 1957.
      • 1/9 - Hastings: New calendar day snowfall record of 8.3 inches. The previous record was 6.0 inches in 1993 and 1985.
      • 1/9 - Hastings:  New daily precipitation record of 0.51 inch. The previous record was 0.40 inch set in 1993.
      • 1/9- Kearney: New daily snowfall record of 8.2 inches. The previous record was 6.0 inches in 1993
      • 1/19 - Hastings: New snowfall record of 6.2 inches.  The previous record was 4.0 inches set in 1988.


 - February -

Wintry view from the Hastings NWS office on February 1, 2011. February was colder than normal across south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. The month featured two primary snowfall events. The first event was focused on February 7th and 8th, and north central Kansas received 6 to 9 inches of snow, with 2 to 5 inches falling in south central Nebraska west of a line from Kearney to Hebron. On February 24th, 2 to 6 inches of snow fell along and south of Interstate 80, and an intense narrow band of snow produced as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow between Highway 6 and the Kansas state line. An ice jam in the Platte River formed near the Highway 92 bridge south of Clarks, NE causing lowland flooding during the latter part of February into the start of March.
Wintry view from the Hastings NWS office on February 1, 2011.  


- February 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 39.0 38.2 38.2
Average Low (F) 15.8 16.0 13.6
Average Temperature (F) 27.4 27.1 25.9
Departure from Normal -1.7 -2.8 -2.2
 
Precipitation(inches) 0.28 0.30 0.12
Departure from Normal (inches) -0.40 -0.19 -0.43
 
Snowfall(inches) 2.2 5.2 4.7
Departure from Normal (inches) -3.9 -1.3 -0.4
Featured Stories
  • February 1: A snowstorm which began on January 31, continued during the morning on February 1. Winds remained strong and gusty through the day, causing the snow to blow and drift. In addition to the snow, arctic air settled in and resulted in wind chills of -15 to -25 degrees.
  • February 7-8: Heavy snowfall upwards of 9 inches fell across portions of north central Kansas, with lesser amounts farther north into south central Nebraska.
  • February 24: A swath of heavy snow fell south of Highway 6 in Nebraska, with snowfall amounts as high as 12 inches reported in the Blue Hill area.
  • February 27: Ice jam flooding along the Platte River impacted Merrick, Polk, and Platte Counties, and the flooding persisted through March 1.
 
Records
      • 2/13 - Kearney: Record high temperature tied at 71 degrees. The previous record was last set in 1967

 


- March -

Platte River ice jam on March 1, 2011. Ice jam flooding along the Platte River continued during the first day of the month. Temperatures during the month ranged from 1 to 2 degrees below normal. A notable cold snap settled in from the 25th to the 29th, when highs averaged in the 30s for this five day stretch. Temperatures in this time frame ranked among the 'Top Five' coldest on record. Precpitation averaged below normal, with most of south central Nebraska and north central Kansas only receiving 25-60 percent of typical March precipitation amounts. March featured a few decent snowfall events, the first from the 7th-9th brought four to six inches of snow to locations generally northwest of a line from Greeley to Kearney, to Beaver City, NE. The second event occurred on the 24th and 25th, when 3 to 6 inches of snow fell north of Interstate 80. Locations north of Interstate 80 had another snow event on the 28th, when snowfall of 2 to 5 inches accumulated.  An isolated severe thunderstorm produced quarter to ping pong size hail in the Beloit and Tipton areas on March 22nd.
Platte River ice jam on March 1, 2011.  

 

- March 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 48.6 49.2  48.2
Average Low (F) 27.5 28.4  25.7
Average Temperature (F) 38.1 38.8 37.0
Departure from Normal -1.3 -1.1 -0.7
    
Precipitation (inches) 1.02 0.49 0.90
Departure from Normal (inches) -0.78 -1.30 -0.89
    
Snowfall (inches) 8.7 4.4 11.7
Departure from Normal (inches) +3.1 -0.8 +7.1
Featured Stories
  • March 7-9:  Although not quite as much snow developed as forecast, a couple of rounds of snow produced amounts in the 5 to 6 inch range from Loup City to Ord.
  • March 24-25:  A late winter storm produced snow amounts of 1 to 5 inches.
  • March 25-29:  A five day cold spell settled in and high temperatures were only in the 30s.
 

- April -

Water vapor satellite image of the April 14-15 storm system which produced both rain and snow. April saw temperatures near normal while precipitation amounts were above normal.  The most notable storm system during the month affected the region on the 14th and 15th, bringing widespread rainfall, strong winds, along with severe thunderstorms and snow to parts of the area.
Water vapor satellite image of the April 14-15
storm system which produced both rain and snow.
 

 

- April 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 61.5 61.9 60.9
Average Low (F) 38.1 38.6 37.0
Average Temperature (F) 49.8 50.2 49.0
Departure from Normal -0.8 -0.5 +0.3
    
Precipitation (inches) 2.93 4.34 3.45
Departure from Normal (inches) +0.40 +1.78 +1.22
    
Snowfall (inches) 0.2 1.0 T
Departure from Normal (inches) -1.1 -0.2 -1.8
Featured Stories
  • April 14-15:  A strong spring storm system produced everything from hail, to wind, snow and rain.

 

 
        Records
      • 4/9 - Grand Island:  New record high temperature of 89 degrees. The previous record was 87 degrees in 1930.
      • 4/19 - Hastings:  New record rainfall amount of 1.46 inches.  The previous record was 1.43 inches set in 1959.

 


- May -

Funnel cloud 2 miles west of Aurora, NE on May 12. May began with warm temperatures for the first 10 days of the month, then trended downward thereafter, and overall monthly temperatures averaged 1 to 3 degrees below normal.  It was a wet and stormy month, with precipitation amounts averaging 110 to 200 percent above normal.  Smith Center, KS and Grand Island, NE both topped 8 inches of rainfall for the month.  May was also active in terms of severe weather, especially from May 11-12, May 23-25th and May 30th, and brief tornadoes occured across portions of south central Nebraska on the 11th and 12th.
Funnel cloud 2 miles west of Aurora, NE on
May 12.  Photo by Lee Penner.
 

 

- May 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 71.5 71.1 70.5
Average Low (F) 48.1 48.3 45.8
Average Temperature (F) 59.8 59.7 58.2
Departure from Normal -1.4 -1.6 -1.3
    
Precipitation (inches) 8.70 5.03 7.53
Departure from Normal (inches) +4.29 +0.46 +3.35
    
Snowfall (inches) 0 0 0
Departure from Normal (inches) 0 0 0
Featured Stories
  • May 11:  Severe thunderstorms produced two tornadoes, damaging winds of 60 to 70 mph, and large hail the size of quarters.  Heavy rainfall accompanied the storms.
  • May 12:  For the second day in a row, severe storms developed.  Three tornadoes were confirmed, large hail up to the size of tea cups fell and heavy rain caused lowland flooding on saturated ground.
  • May 19-20:  Heavy rainfall of up to 5 inches accompanied thunderstorms, and hail the size of quarters fell in north central Kansas.
  • May 21:  Severe thunderstorms produced hail of golf ball to tea cup size.
  • May 23-25:  Storms continued to produce heavy rainfall and some locations received amounts of 3 to 6 inches, and caused river and lowland flooding.
  • May 30:  An intense line of thunderstorms developed on Memorial Day and produced damaging winds of 60 to 90 mph along with gustnadoes.
 
        Records
    • 5/9 - Grand Island:  New record high temperature of 98 degrees.  The previous record was 95 degrees in 1934.
    • 5/9 - Kearney:  New record high temperature of 95 degrees.  The previous record was 93 degrees in 1911.
    • 5/9 - Hastings:  Record high temperature of 95 degrees tied.  The previous record of 95 was set in 1934.
    • 5/16 - Kearney:  New record low temperature of 31 degrees.  The previous record was 34 set in 1932.
    • 5/16 - Hastings:  Record low temperature of 34 degrees tied.  The previous record was set in 1929, 1925 and 1923.
    • 5/20 - Grand Island:  New daily precipitation record of 2.46 inches.  The previous record was 1.32 inches in 1957.
    • 5/25 - Grand Island:  New daily precipitation record of 1.82 inches.  The previous record was 1.36 inches in 1939.
    • 5/25 - Kearney:  New daily precipitation record of 3.17 inches.  The previous record was 1.38 inches in 1982.


- June -

Tornado 5 miles south of Elm Creek just east of Hwy 183. Average monthly temperatures in June were slightly above normal across the Tri-Cities of Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney, with Kearney coming in the warmest at 1.2 degrees above normal.  In terms of normal precipitation, Grand Island carried a 2.58-inch deficit, followed by Hastings with a 1.15-inch deficit. In contrast, Kearney was slightly above normal in rainfall, by 0.58-inch. June was quite active in terms of severe weather, with the biggest tornado event of the year occurring on the 20th, when 12 tornadoes touched down. 

Tornado 5 miles south of Elm Creek just east of Hwy 183. Photo Courtesy of Bryce Kintigh.

 

 

- June 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 83.7 83.1 82.7
Average Low (F) 59.9 60.8 59.2
Average Temperature (F) 71.8 71.9 71.0
Departure from Normal +0.5 +0.1 +1.2
    
Precipitation (inches) 1.72 2.65 4.51
Departure from Normal (inches) -2.58 -1.15 +0.58
    
Snowfall (inches) 0 0 0
Departure from Normal (inches) 0 0 0
Featured Stories
  • June 1-2:  The month began on an active note as severe thunderstorms produced hail up to 2 inches in diameter, damaging winds near 70 mph, and heavy rainfall which caused flooding.
  • June 14:  A brief tornado touched down in Merrick County, and storms also produced large hail to golf ball size and 60 mph winds.
  • June 16:  Damaging winds of 60 to 80 mph accompanied severe thunderstorms during the evening.
  • June 19:  Damaging winds from severe thunderstorms caused damage in Furnas and Merrick counties.
  • June 20:  The most active tornado day of the severe weather season unfolded, with 12 confirmed reports of tornadoes, two of which were rated EF3.
 

- July -

Tree damage in Waco, NE on July 5th. July was a hot month with monthly temperatures averaging 3 to 4 degrees above normal.  An upper level ridge of high pressure settled in from the 14th through 23rd, and afternoon highs topped out near or in the 90s.   Overnight lows were warm during the month with average low temperatures generally 3 to 6 degrees above normal.  Precipitation during the month was generally above normal.  Severe thunderstorms occurred on several days during the month, and primarily produced damaging winds.  Brief tornadoes touched down in Franklin County on the 13th.
Tree damage in Waco, NE on July 5th.  


- July 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 89.0 89.8 88.1
Average Low (F) 69.8 69.9 68.4
Average Temperature (F) 79.4 79.9 78.2
Departure from Normal +3.2 +2.8 +3.5
 
Precipitation(inches) 4.37 4.96 4.07
Departure from Normal (inches) +0.97 +1.22 +0.79
 
Snowfall(inches) 0 0 0
Departure from Normal (inches) 0 0 0
       Featured Stories
  • July 5:  Severe thunderstorms produced hail up to golf ball size, damaging winds and locally heavy rainfall.
  • July 9:  NWS Cooperative Observer in Alton, KS showcased an 'Old Fashioned Wheat Harvest.'
  • July 10:  Damaging winds up to 80 mph and ping pong size hail accompanied severe thunderstorms.
  • July 13:  Brief tornadoes touched down in Franklin county, and storms also produced half dollar size hail and 65 mph winds.
  • July 15:  Damaging winds from a severe thunderstorm uprooted trees and damaged a grain elevator.
  • July 21:  A thunderstorm collapsed and produced wind damage in Nuckolls and Jewell counties.
  • July 24:  Damaging winds of 60 to 70 mph accompanied severe thunderstorms during the evening.
  • July 28:  Severe thunderstorms produced 60 to 81 mph winds and caused power outages during the pre dawn hours.

 


- August -

Large Hail in Damar, KS on August 9. The heat in August was not as pronounced when compared to July 2011, and most areas averaged near to above normal monthly temperature. Many locations experienced normal to above normal precipitation, although northern locations were the exception, where precipitation deficits occurred.  In terms of severe weather, the most noteworthy storm occurred on August 9th, where hail to the size of softballs fell in north central Kansas. 
Large hail in Damar, KS on August 9.  Photo by Becky Wells.  


- August 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 86.0 84.3 84.9
Average Low (F) 63.5 64.6 63.9
Average Temperature (F) 74.7 74.4 74.4
Departure from Normal +0.7 +0.1 +1.8
 
Precipitation(inches) 2.30 4.90 3.72
Departure from Normal (inches) -0.82 +1.60 +0.64
 
Snowfall(inches) 0 0 0
Departure from Normal (inches) 0 0 0
           Featured Stories
  • August 6:  An isolated thundestorm produced large hail and a funnel cloud.
  • August 8:  Severe thunderstorms produced 60 to 70 mph winds and hail to the size of quarters.
  • August 9:  Large hail of baseball to softball size pounded portions of north central Kansas.
  • August 18:  Thunderstorms clipped south central Nebraska and produced 60 mph winds and quarter size hail.
  • August 30:  A swath of heavy rain in excess of two inches fell across south central Nebraska, south of Interstate 80.
 
        Records
      • 8/1 - Grand Island:  Record high minimum temperature of 77 degrees was tied.  The 77 degree minimum temperature was last set in 1955.
      • 8/8 - Hastings:  New daily precipitation record of 1.27 inches.  The previous record was 1.26 inches set in 1956.


 - September -

The first frost of the fall season typically occurs from late September to mid October, as indicated on the graphic. The month of September was dominated by an upper level ridge of high pressure, resulting in dry conditions for the most part, and no severe weather.  Average monthly temperatures were cool, and ranged from 3 to 5 degrees below seasonal normals, and precipitation for September was below normal.  September 15th set records for cold daily high temperatures.
The first frost of the fall season typically occurs from late September to mid October, as indicated on the graphic.  


- September 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 74.8 74.0 74.1
Average Low (F) 47.3 48.2 47.3
Average Temperature (F) 61.0 61.1 60.7
Departure from Normal -4.1 -4.5 -2.8
 
Precipitation(inches) 0.83 0.70 0.65
Departure from Normal (inches) -1.40 -1.86 -1.42
 
Snowfall(inches) 0 0 0
Departure from Normal (inches) -0.1 -0.2 -0.2

          Featured Stories

  • September 15:  Record cold high temperatures were set or tied in Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney, NE.
   

   Records

      • 9/15 - Grand Island:  New record minimum high temperature was tied at 49 degrees.  The previous 49 degree temperature was set in 1903.
      • 9/15 - Hastings:  New record minimum high temperature of 47 degrees.  The previous record was 54 degrees set in 1996.
      • 9/15 - Kearney:  New record minimum high temperature of 45 degrees.  The previous record was 53 degrees set in 1973.

 


- October -

24 hour rainfall map ending at 7 am on October 8th. October was a warmer month and monthly temperatures averaged 2 to 3 degrees above normal across south central Nebraska, and one degree above normal in north central Kansas.  The first week of the month was the hottest one, and temperatures reached the upper 80s to mid 90s on October 4th.  The coolest day of the month was on the 26th, when temperatures only reached the middle to upper 40s.  Readings recovered to the 70s on Halloween.  Areas of heavy rainfall  accompanied storms from the 7th through the 9th, with the greater precipitation amounts falling west of a line from Genoa to Hastings to Red Cloud, Nebraska, to Osborne, Kansas.
24 hour rainfall map ending at 7 am on October 8th.  


- October 2011 Climate Data -
  Grand Island Hastings Kearney
Average High (F) 68.7  68.4 67.7
Average Low (F) 41.4  41.5 40.0
Average Temperature (F)  54.9 54.9  53.8
Departure from Normal 2.7  2.3 2.9
 
Precipitation(inches) 2.20  1.36 4.92
Departure from Normal (inches) +0.34  -0.63 +2.88
 
Snowfall(inches) 0.0 0.0 0.0
Departure from Normal (inches) -1.0  -1.0  -0.7
Featured Stories
  • October 7-8th: Severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall accompanied an intense low pressure system crossing the central plains.
  • October 7th and 10th:  Kearney set two daily rainfall records.
 

Records

  • 10/7 - Kearney:  New daily record precipitation of 2.29 inches.  The previous record was 1.21 inches in 1946.
  • 10/10- Kearney:  New daily precipitation record of 1.48 inch.  The previous record was 0.93 inch in 1949

  • - November -

    Snowfall in Downs, KS on November 16. November was a mild month with temperatures averaging above normal, and precipitation averaging below normal.  Portions of north central Kansas and south central Nebraska experienced their first accumulating snow event of the season on the 16th, when 1 to 3 inches fell.  
    Snowfall in Downs, KS on November 16.  Photo by JoAnn and Duane Robinson.
     


    - November 2011 Climate Data -
      Grand Island Hastings Kearney
    Average High (F) 52.7 52.7  52.2
    Average Low (F) 26.4 27.2  24.9
    Average Temperature
    39.6 40.0  38.5
    Departure from Normal +1.5 +1.3  +1.5
     
    Precipitation(inches) 0.21 0.38  0.33
    Departure from Normal (inches) -0.96 -0.91  -0.69
     
    Snowfall(inches) T  T T
    Departure from Normal (inches)  -3.1 -2.6 -3.1
    Featured Stories
    • November 16: Snowfall of 1 to 3 inches fell in a narrow band across portions of south central Nebraska into north central Kansas.
    • November 23: Record high temperature tied at Grand Island, NE.
    • November 26: Intense northwest winds averaged 30-40 mph and gusted near 55 mph.
     

    Records

    • 11/23 - Grand Island:  Record high temperature of 66 degrees tied.  The previous record was 66 degrees set in 2005.

     

       


    - December -

    Wintry view outside WFO Hastings on December 3rd. Winter made its presence known right away in December with widespread snow events on the 3rd and the 8th.  The first round of snow on the 3rd produced amounts up to 9 inches, and amounts up to 4 inches fell on the 8th. 
    Wintry view outside WFO Hastings on December 3rd.  Photo by NWS employee, Joe Guerrero.  


    - December 2011 Climate Data -
      Grand Island Hastings Kearney
     Average High (F) 39.6 39.2 39.2
    Average Low (F) 19.5 18.9 18.0
    Average Temperature 29.5 29.0 28.6
    Departure From Normal +2.8 +1.4 +2.7
     
    Precipitation (inches) 1.11 1.00 0.39
    Departure from Normal +0.48 +0.39 -0.18
     
    Snowfall (inches) 8.3 9.4 6.6
    Departure from Normal +3.1 +3.3 +3.1
    Featured Stories
    • December 3: The first widespread snow of the season occurred with snow amounts averaging 2-6 inches, with some locations tallying amounts around 9 inches.
    • December 8: An upper level disturbance produced another round of snowfall, with amounts reaching the 4 inch mark in some locations.
    • December 19-20:  A potent winter storm system brought heavy snow to portions of Rooks, Osborne and Mitchell counties in north central Kansas.
    • December 24-31:  After a cold and snowy start to the month, the latter two-thirds of the month turned mild by December standards. In fact, the final 8 days of the month ranked among the Top-5 warmest on record for many locations.
     

    Records

    • 12/3 - Hastings:  Record daily snowfall amount of 5.1 inches.  The previous record was 4.7 inches set in 2005.
    • 12/6 - Kearney:  New record low temperature of -12 degrees.  The previous record was -10 degrees set in 1972.


    - 2011 Grand Island Extremes -


    Event Value/Date
    Hottest High Temperature 103 degrees on June 30
    Coldest High Temperature 6 degrees on February 1
    Coldest Low Temperature -12 degrees on January 12
    Warmest Low Temperature 77 degrees on July 19 and August 1
    Highest Daily Rainfall 2.46 inches on May 20
    Highest Daily Snowfall 8.2 inches on January 9
    Deepest 6 am Snow Depth 12 inches on January 20
    Highest Wind Gust 74 mph from the Northwest on May 30


    - 2011 Hastings Extremes -


    Event Value/Date
    Hottest High Temperature 103 degrees on June 30
    Coldest High Temperature 6 degrees on January 12 and February 1
    Coldest Low Temperature -11 degrees on January 12
    Warmest Low Temperature 76 degrees on July 19 and August 1
    Highest Daily Rainfall 1.57 inches on August 14
    Highest Daily Snowfall 8.3 inches on January 9
    Deepest 6 am Snow Depth 12 inches on January 11
    Highest Wind Gust 54 mph from the North on April 15




    2011 Office Newsletter:  The Quarterly Hail


     Spring          Summer           Fall          Winter

     


    Back to Page 1 - 'A Review of the Weather in 2011'


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