Snow Event Summary, March 7-9, 2011

  

Between the pre-dawn hours of Monday, March 7th, 2011, and the morning of Wednesday, March 9th, a rather complex, two-part snow event affected the NWS Hastings County Warning Area. In the end, the highest storm total snowfall amounts of 4-6 inches focused across the far northern and western portions of the area, generally west of a line from Greeley-Kearney-Beaver City. Most of these higher totals fell during the first 24 hours of the event on the 7th. Meanwhile, the majority of South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas ended up with a mixed bag of snow accumulations ranging from barely a dusting, up to 3 inches or so. Although the majority of accumulating snow fell on the 7th-8th, one last band of light snow drifted across central and eastern sections of the area on the morning of the 9th, dropping as much as 0.7-inch at Grand Island.

Needless to say, this winter storm did not turn out to be nearly as significant as originally forecast a few days prior to the onset. For several days in advance, a number of computer model forecasts insisted that much of the area would see at least 8-12 inches of snow, along with fairly strong north winds. However, two primary factors combined to make this event a snow "dud" for much of the area:

1.) The upper level low pressure systems that provided the forcing for snowfall came into the Central Plains in a far less-organized fashion than first predicted. This prevented a persistent, concentrated swath of snow from forming, especially with the second part of the system on Tuesday the 8th. The weaker system also kept winds from becoming very strong, with sustained speeds mainly holding at or below 20-25 MPH.

2.) The easterly surface winds that prevailed during this time actually drew slightly warmer air into roughly the eastern half of the area, bringing temperatures into the 32-38 degree range, which greatly hindered snow accumulation or changed it into light rain altogether. Once the main part of the system moved farther east by Tuesday evening and became a bit more organized, parts of Iowa did realize several inches of snow that South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas missed out on.

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 table depicting 3-day snowfall totals from NWS Cooperative Observers located across the NWS Hastings 30-County Warning Area: (Pease note: "*" in the 3-day total indicates that data is missing for one of the 3 days)

Storm Total Snowfall From NWS Cooperative Observers - (March 7-9, 2011)

Location

Monday (7th)

Tuesday (8th)

Wednesday (9th)

3 Day Total

Ord

3.0

2.5

1.0

6.5

Greeley

0.5

5.5

T

6.0

Kearney 4NE

0.4

4.6

T

5.0

Loup City

1.5

2.5

1.0

5.0

Arcadia

2.0

3.0

M

5.0*

Fullerton

2.0

3.0

M

5.0*

Cambridge

1.0

2.0

1.8

4.8

Wolbach

1.5

2.9

0.2

4.6

Elwood 8S

2.0

1.5

1.0

4.5

Shelby 3NE

1.8

2.0

T

3.8

Osceola

1.3

2.4

T

3.7

Miller

2.0

1.2

0.3

3.5

Canaday Steam Plant

0.5

3.0

0.0

3.5

Oxford

T

2.2

1.1

3.3

Damar, KS

M

2.0

1.0

3.0*

Logan, KS

M

2.0

1.0

3.0*

Cozad

1.0

1.5

M

2.5*

Grand Island (near airport)

0.2

1.6

0.7

2.5

Wilsonville

1.0

1.0

T

2.0

Mankato, KS

M

2.0

0.0

2.0

Burr Oak, KS

0.2

1.3

0.2

1.7

Hastings NWS Office

T

1.6

T

1.6

Smith Center, KS

0.2

1.4

0.0

1.6

Hebron

0.0

1.1

0.2

1.3

Plainville, KS

0.0

1.2

T

1.2

Bruning

0.0

1.2

T

1.2

Fairmont

T

1.0

T

1.0

Alton 2 SW, KS

0.0

1.0

T

1.0

Franklin

0.2

0.5

T

0.7

Superior 4 E

0.0

0.6

T

0.6

Clay Center

0.0

0.5

T

0.5

Lebanon, KS

T

0.5

T

0.5

Ionia, KS

0.0

T

T

T

Beloit, KS

0.0

T

T

T

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

 



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