December begins with snow and unseasonably cold temperatures (12/8/2005)

By: Rob Cox and Chris Jakub

Snowfall amounts of 2-5 inches were quite common wednesday and wednesday night with bitter cold temperatures.

Cold high pressure dominated the area the first week of December with temperatures starting out 10 to 15 degrees below normal. Normal high temperatures for the first week of December are 45 to 50 while normal lows are 25 to 30. The unseasonably cold temperatures set the stage for wintery conditions on wednesday December 7th. This was in response to an upper level system that moved in from the rockies into the central plains. See image 1. Fortunately, we avoided the mixed precipitation types with this event, but we did receive enough snow to cover the ground in most locations. The highest amounts were found mainly east of the Kansas turnpike with amounts ranging from 3 to 5 inches. Madison in northeast Greenwood county was the exception to the rule with 8 inches. The least amount of snow took place in Harper and Kingman counties where they received less than one inch. Elsewhere, snow amounts ranged from 2 to 4 inches. See image 2. Wind chill values during the day wednesday generally ranged from 0 to 15 below. After the snow moved out wednesday night, temperatures tumbled to below zero across the entire area. It has been at least 5 years since this had occurred at Chanute and nearly 10 years at Wichita. Record lows were also set for Russell at -8 and Chanute at -6.

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