Unusual Snowfall in Dodge City - Jan 19, 2011

An unusual weather setup produced a very narrow and isolated band of snow across parts of Dodge City and Ford county on 1/19/11.  The atmosphere was cold and moist with low clouds and fog preceding the formation of the snow.  It appears that two slaughter plants and a power generating plant contributed to the snow as ice nuclei and copious amounts of water vapor were fed into the boundary layer.  East/southeast winds carried the vapor and nuclei aloft into the lower clouds and then precipitated out as snow downwind of the source.  Snowfall of as much as 0.7" was reported in the snowfield with no snow observed at all outside of this area.

The image below shows the source of the snow and the area of Dodge City and Ford county that was covered by the snow.

map of where the snow fell

The next image shows a radar image depicting the snow band at 1124 AM.  The orange and pink colors show where the heaviest snow was falling at the time.

Radar image at 1124 AM

The following 2 1/2 hour radar loop shows where the snow persisted (this may take a minute to load).  Also of note, try and pick out the moving object that is headed towards the southwest from Dodge City along the highway.  This is actually a train that was headed slowly towards Montezuma, parallel to the highway!

Radar loop showing the persistent snow

The following three images were taken by Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jeff Hutton just northwest of Dodge City during one of the heavy bursts of snow.

Heavy snow falling with quarter sized flakes - image taken by Jeff Hutton

Heavy snow falling northwest of Dodge City - image taken by Jeff Hutton

Heavy snow falling northwest of Dodge City - image taken by Jeff Hutton

The following morning...

 The morning following - image taken by Jeff Hutton

As sunshine spread across the area the following morning, the area of where the snow fell was clearly evident in satellite images.  Look at the bright white area in northwest Ford county.

Satellite image the following morning showing where the snowfield existed



Jeff Hutton - Warning Coordination Meteorologist

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