Final Storm of January 2005!! (2/4/2005)

By: Andy Kleinsasser & Robb Lawson

An upper level disturbance brought widespread snow to mainly south-central Kansas, as well as portions of southeast Kansas.

The snow started late in the day on Sunday the 30th, and lasted through sunrise on Monday morning for a few locations. Widespread 1 to 3 inch snow amounts were quite common. However, several locations received over 3 inches, with isolated 5+ inch amounts reported. In fact, a few 6 to 8 inch amounts were reported, with 8 inches reported near Penalosa in Kingman County, and also near Burns in Marion County.

So what caused such isolated amounts of heavy snowfall? Dry air at about 20,000 ft surged north into south-central Kansas during the late evening hours of the 30th, farther northward than anticipated. This mid-level dry air caused the lower atmosphere to become convectively unstable, somewhat similar to a thunderstormís environment. The increased instability resulted in narrow bands of heavy convective snow showers. An additional source of lift was strong jet stream winds approaching the area from the southwest. Image 1 and Image 2 are radar images from 03z and 09z on the 31st which nicely depict some of these convective snow showers. Many of these narrow snow bands didnít move much through the night, which resulted in the localized heavier snows. Image 3 is a map of snowfall across the area.

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