Snow Event Summary, Feb. 24, 2011


The daytime hours of Thursday, February 24, 2011 featured an intense, narrow band of snow across southern and eastern sections of the NWS Hastings County Warning Area, bringing with it a reminder that the winter season will continue for at least a few more weeks.

Storm total snowfall reports indicated that a widespread 5-9 inches, and locally higher amounts, fell within a corridor from around Alma Nebraska and northern Phillips County Kansas, east-northeast through the Franklin, Blue Hill, Clay Center and Geneva areas.  One of the highest reported totals of 12 inches came from the NWS cooperative observer 4 miles southwest of Blue Hill. The primary "mesoscale" snow band was only about 20-30 miles wide (as seen in the radar image below), and pounded the affected areas with moderate to heavy snow and near-white-out conditions for hours before gradually sinking off to the south and east.  To the south of the main band, much of North Central Kansas reported a general 2-4 inches. To the north of the intense banded snow, places such as Hastings picked up less than 3 inches, while even farther north and west, most locations north of a line from Elwood-Grand Island-Osceola were lucky to see 1 inch, if even that.

Winds during this snow event were from the north-northeast, with sustained speeds averaging 15-20 MPH and gusts into the 25-30 MPH range, resulting in at least some drifting.

Below is an image reflecting storm total snowfall across the area, focusing solely on the NWS Hastings 30-County Warning Area.  The snow reports are courtesy of NWS Cooperative Observers, Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network (NeRAIN) observers, and  CoCoRaHS observers. **Please see the bottom of this story for a listing of selected snow reports**

Please note: The snowfall map is a "best-approximation" of actual measured amounts. Some reports may not be included, and amounts reflected on the map may not match locations exactly due to the effects of interpolation and "smoothing" used to create the maps. These preliminary data may contain errors.



Below is a mid-afternoon shot of water vapor imagery, which is a tool used by meteorologist to help forecast weather.  In the image below, the storm system responsible for Thursday's snowfall can be seen over the Mississippi Valley...with the band of snow extending back behind the main system over portions of Nebraska and Kansas...

The radar image below, valid at 154 PM on the 24th, shows snowfall over south central Nebraska and north central Kansas during the early afternoon hours.  Notice the intense band of snowfall from just south of York, to just south of Hastings, to near Phillipsburg...

Below is a list of selected snowfall reports across the area. In most cases, these totals represent storm-total amounts that fell between 7am Feb. 24 - 7am Feb. 25.  This is only a sampling of reports across the area, and reflect several of the highest-reported totals:

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


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