The December 3-4, 2002 Winter Storm in South Central and Southeast Kansas (12/5/2002)

By: Jim Caruso, Chris Jakub

Much of south central and southeastern Kansas were hit with 6 or more inches of snowfall.

A storm system moved slowly east across Oklahoma and Texas Tuesday Night into Wednesday. A swath of wintry precipitation occurred on the north side of the storm system, that extended across south central and southeastern Kansas. The precipitation began as a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain, south of a line from Harper to Winfield to Parsons shortly before sunset. As the precipitation continued to spread north into south central and southeastern Kansas during Tuesday evening, the air was cold enough for the precipitation to fall in the form of all snow. In fact, by 1 am C.S.T. Wednesday Morning, the precipitation had changed to all snow across South Central and Southeastern Kansas. A thin glazing of ice covered the roads in Montgomery and Labette Counties before the precipitation changed over to snow. However, road conditions deteriorated rather quickly over much of south central and southeastern Kansas from the snow accumulations. The snow tapered off from west to east on Wednesday. Total snowfall accumulations of 6 inches or greater were observed, south of a line, from Pretty Prairie to Potwin to Chanute (see image 1). The highest amount was 10 inches, 6 miles east of Caldwell in Sumner County. Image 2 is a visible satellite image from a couple days after the snowstorm, that shows where the snow fell.

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