Another Winter Storm Strikes the Region. (2/24/2003)

By: Paul Howerton

Heavy snow occurred over portions of south central and southeast Kansas on February 23.

Another round of winter weather moved into the region early Sunday morning. The snow began around daybreak in Harper county, and overspread the entire region before noon. The heaviest snow occurred near the Oklahoma border, where 10 to 15 inch amounts were common. Totals decreased to the northeast. See image 1 for a plot of snowfall amounts. The snow exited the area early Sunday evening. Gusty winds resulted in considerable blowing and drifting of the snow. The heavy snow and blowing snow, dropped visibilities to less than one quarter mile at times.

The snow resulted from a combination of features. The arctic cold front brought the cold air into the region on Saturday morning. The warm air moving northwest over this front, in combination with an area of low pressure aloft produced the snow on Sunday. The heaviest snow occurred where the greatest temperature contrast occurred aloft. Snowfall rates around 2 inches per hour occurred for several hours in this area.

The 10.2 inches of snowfall measured at Wichita's Mid Continent Airport, set a new record for the date. It surpassed the 6.4 inch record previously set in 1913. It also ranks 9th on the list of greatest snowfall totals for a single snowstorm at Wichita. The greatest single storm snowfall was 15 inches on January 17-18, 1962.

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