April Snowstorm?! (4/6/2007)

By: Andy Kleinsasser

Up to 8 inches of heavy, wet snow blanketed portions of Central Kansas on Thursday, April 5th.

Yes, they are rare, but Thursday was proof that April snowstorms do occur in Kansas now and then.

A fast moving storm system produced a heavy, late season snowfall across portions of central, south-central and southeast Kansas during the afternoon hours of Thursday, April 5th. To the naked eye, the storm system did not appear all that impressive. However, a closer inspection of the data revealed a narrow zone of intense lift that produced 6 to 8 inches of snow from western Saline County, through eastern McPherson County, and into southwest Marion County (Image 1). Image 2 and Image 3 are radar images of the snow.

Snow storms of this magnitude across Central, South-Central and Southeast Kansas are fairly rare this late in the season, and have occurred only a handful of times over the past several decades. For example, the 8 inches that fell at Lindsborg was the 2nd highest April daily snowfall total since 1905 (8.5 inches occurred on 4/8/1938). Similar results occurred at Salina. The 5 inches that accumulated was the 2nd highest April daily total since 1949 (7 inches occurred on 4/1/1970). Even Howard down in Elk County got into the action, with 2 inches accumulating. This tied the 4th highest April daily total set on 4/4/1979.

The odds are that Thursday's snowfall and this week's cold snap will be Old Man Winter's last gasp, but you just never know in Kansas!

This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.

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