Extreme Winter Storm of Dec 28-31, 2006

Extreme Winter Storm crippled much of Southwest Kansas to conclude 2006

*** Updated January 11th ***

Widespread total precipitation from this storm ranged from 2 to 4"+ over much of Southwest Kansas.  There was even an area from Garden City to Dighton that had up to six inches of rain and freezing rain!  This is incredible for anytime of the year, let alone for December.   Significant, widespread damage to trees and especially utility lines, poles, and towers resulted from the 1/2" to 2 1/2" of ice accumulation.  In an area from Sublette to Garden City, north through Dighton had the most severe damage.  Over 60 thousand people were without electricity at one time or another from the nearly 10 thousand of power poles that were taken down from the weight of the ice.  Some of these structures were high transmission towers.  Click on the image for a larger view (image by forecaster Mike Umscheid).



Tree damage was extreme!  It will take weeks to clean up just tree damage.

As of January 5th, there were still around 11,000 people without electric service and as of January 11th there were still approximately 4000 utility customers without power.  Crews with heavy equipment cannot install power poles because of the deep mud on county roads.  In addition, service from the poles to the home meters is not possible yet because of local damage on homes.  Some people may be without electricity until the 4th week in January and home service to rural customers in that area may not be back on for the balance of January!  Because of the loss of communication, the full extent of the damage may not be known for some time to come.

At the Dodge City airport, 3.21" of precipitation (rain, freezing rain and snow) fell from the storm.  The only other time Dodge City, KS recorded over 3" of liquid equivalent precipitation in a single December storm was December 19-22, 1877 when 4.31" was measured.  But there was even greater amounts!  Up to six inches of rain and freezing rain fell in the Dighton area!  The resulting ice was tremendous with several 300 foot  communication towers toppled.

Here is the estimated storm total liquid-equivalent precipitation (in green) and storm total snowfall (blue overlay) for Southwest Kansas for December 28-31, 2006:



  
The following are some snowfall amounts for the storm.

   Snow
 Amount              Location                  County

32.0 Johnson 15 W Stanton
16.0 Manter 6 NW Stanton
13.0 Saunders Stanton
12.0 Richfield 13 W Morton
12.0 Coolidge 20 S Hamilton
10.0 Richfield 13 NW Morton
10.0 Johnson Stanton
8.0 Syracuse Hamilton
8.0 Collyer Trego
7.0 Lakin Kearny
7.0 Healy Lane
6.0 Scott City Scott
5.0 Shallow Water Scott
4.0 Plymell Finney
4.0 Utica 6 SW Ness
2.0 Howell 4N Ford



The following is a summary of the equivalent precipitation that fell:

     County                                     Location                                  Amount

Lane Dighton 6"
Finney Garden City 0.7 SE 5.16"
Stanton Johnson City 1.1 ENE 4.72"
Gray Ingalls 15 WSW 4.67"
Grant Ulysses 0.9 NW 4.55"
Seward Liberal 6.3 NW 4.42"
Meade Plains City 0.3 NW 4.41"
ness Arnold 4.8 NNW 3.95"
Meade Meade 0.4 NNW 3.8"
Meade MEADE 12 NW 3.74"
Ford Dodge City 2.5 NW 3.7"
Gray Ingalls 7.1 NNE 3.69"
Meade MEADE 10 N 3.67"
Clark Minneola 4.1 SSE 3.63"
Hamilton Syracuse 7.2 WSW 3.52"
Ellis Hays 11 SSW 3.5"
Ford Dodge City 1.7 SSW 3.49"
Gray CIMARRON 7 SE 3.39"
Ford Dodge City 2.2 N 3.31"
Ness Utica 5.9 SSW 3.28"
Finney Garden City 8.3 NNW 3.27"
Hodgeman Jetmore 6.9 ESE 3.2"
Hamilton Syracuse 10.6 N 3.1"
Stevens Moscow 6.4 S 3.01"
Gray Cimarron 0.5 N 2.97"
Ellis Hays 1.7 NW 2.76"
Ellis Ellis 11 NNE 2.62"
Clark Englewood 3.8 WNW 2.52"
Clark Ashland 14.6 SSE 2.41"
Pratt Pratt 2.6 S 1.6"
Barber Coats 6.6 WSW 1.52"
Pratt Preston 3.2 WNW 1.5"
Comanche Coldwater 6.7 NW 1.47"
Barber Medicine Lodge 0.4 WSW 0.99"


And, the following are some images of the winter landscape painted across western Kansas:


Weskan in west central KS - photo by Mike Umscheid


Buried truck and trailer near Sheridan Lake in far eastern  Colorado - photo by Mike Umscheid


Dodge City National Weather Service Office - photo by Mike Umscheid


Snow removal in west central Kansas - photo by Mark Davis - Kansas Dept. of Transportation


Ice just NW of Dodge City - photo by Jeff Hutton


Photo by Jeff Hutton


Photo by Jeff Hutton


Photo by Jeff Hutton


Photo by Jeff Hutton


Communications tower east of Dighton - Photo by Scott Reiter



Another communications tower just east of Dighton that collapsed from the ice - photo by Scott Reiter



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