Author: Mary Knapp

While Spring has been slow to arrive this year, today April 30th marks the anniversary of the very late end to winter last year. In 2017, an intense upper storm moved from the Four Corners region and interacted with unseasonably cold air to produce a major blizzard across western Kansas. Snowfall amounts of 12 to 24 inches common. Cattle loss across western Kansas was estimated to be as many as 100,000 head. One electric company alone had around 75 million dollars in damages to its infrastructure. This unusual late spring storm was made more destructive by the weight of the snow, since it was very wet and driven by 50 to 60 mph wind gusts. Also vegetation was further along, with trees leafed out and wheat in the boot to head stage making it more vulnerable to damage. Vegetation and infrastructure were the only sectors to see problems. Transportation was also impacted as across the western fourth of the State, all roads were closed and impassable for 1 to 2 days.

Tribune Snow April 30th, 2017 (R.Mai)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library