Feb. 22-23, 2014: Narrow Band Of 6+ Inch Snowfall Targets Southern Counties

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February 22-23, 2014

Narrow Band Of Heavy Snow
Targets Southern Portions
Of The Area 

To the right is a National Weather Service Radar loop, valid from 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22nd to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 23rd.

The NWS Hastings coverage area is located within the orange outlined area labeled "GID", with the Interstate highways in red.

(Click Radar Loop To Enlarge)

Event Summary:

Starting during the evening hours of Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, and lasting into the morning of Sunday the 23rd, southern portions of the local area received a narrow band of heavy snow generally ranging from 6-9".  Unlike many snow events where accumulations are more "uniform" across a larger area, this was truly a case of "all or nothing" as places within the main band received significant accumulations, while places only a few miles north or south of the main band received little to nothing. Generally speaking, this primary snow band within the local coverage area was only 10-15 miles wide, with the heart of it extending along an axis from northern Furnas County through Harlan County, and then east-southeast across northern Phillips and Smith counties in Kansas. Fortunately, winds were not very strong during this event, keeping blowing and drifting to a minimum. 

This type of intense, narrow banding is not all that uncommon, and occurs as a result of higher-than-normal atmoshperic instability aligned underneath a strong upper level jet streak. As evidence that most places outside of this heavy snow band received little to nothing, locations such as Hastings and Beloit only reported a non-measurable trace. This event was a prime example of how challenging winter weather forecasting can be at times, as forecast models often do not start "pinpointing" small-scale features such as intense, narrow snow bands until only a few hours before they form. 

Below is a list of a few official snow totals from NWS Cooperative Observers (please note that a few unofficial reports suggested higher totals, including an estimated 10" at Stamford in Harlan County):

Location Snowfall
Lebanon, KS 8.9"
Cambridge 8.5"
Smith Center, KS 8.0"
Edison 8.0"
Mankato, KS 6.5"
8 S Elwood 6.0"
Wilsonville 6.0"
Ionia, KS 5.1"
Burr Oak, KS 3.8"

Here are a few snow totals overlaid on a radar estimation of snowfall across the area:

Here are a few photos from the area hardest hit by the heaviest snow:

Cambridge, NE.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Wulf.
Near Hendley, NE.
Photo courtesy of
Darla McGahan.

Smith Center, KS.
Photo courtesy of
Bob Levin.

Mankato, KS. Photo courtesy of Nadine Smith.


This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.

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