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Early Season Blizzard Impacts Thanksgiving Weekend Travel


An extremely early season blizzard impacted most of northern and central Missouri on November 25, 2018. The snowstorm was more indicative of a storm that would affect the area in the deep winter, as opposed to the middle to late part of autumn. The storm brought between 6 and 8 inches of snow across far northern Missouri, with 4 to 6 inches across the Kansas City Metro area, and along a good portion of the I-70 corridor through western and central Missouri. Further separating this storm from other typical winter storms was the strong winds that accompanied the heavy snow. Most locations through the region experienced winds in excess of 35 mph at times during the storm. The strongest wind gusts came across northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, where 50-60 mph winds were recorded in Wyandotte and Leavenworth Co (Kansas) and at Kansas City International Airport, where winds gusted to 55 mph.


Historical Perspective: This snowstorm came exceptionally early in the winter season. Just how historical was this event? Here is some perspective.


  • Typical Novembers bring around 1.2" of snow each season, however...
  • Only 7 of the last 20 Novembers have had accumulating snow in Kansas City. 
  • The 5.8" of snow broke the record for snowiest November 25 in Kansas City history. The previous record was 3.7", which occurred in 1895.
  • The 7.6" of snow recorded in Kansas City through November 25 ranks 2nd all time for snowiest Novembers in Kansas City History (Going back to 1888), The snowiest November in KC history came in 1923, when 9.1" of snow fell during the month.
  • The 5.8" of snow recorded in Kansas City for November 25 was the 2nd snowiest individual day for the month of November. November 29, 1923 brought 9.1" of snow to Kansas City.
  • Since 2004, no blizzard warnings have been issued for the Kansas City Metro area in the month of November.


Radar loop of the Thanksgiving Weekend Blizzard,
spanning most of the day on November 25, 2018
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Total snowfall reported during the November 25, 2018 Thanksgiving Weekend Blizzard
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Peak wind gusts during the heavy snow on November 25, 2018 created blizzard conditions across the region
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The orange area depicts the spatial area of blizzard conditions across the Midwest during the Thanksgiving Weekend Blizzard November 25, 2018.
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Photos & Video:

Video of blizzard conditions in the Kansas City Metro November 25, 2018



Photo Photo Photo Radar Image
Visibility dropped to around 1/4 mile as 40 to 50 mph winds whipped through the heavy snow through the KC Metro. Snow piled up in Lee's Summit, Missouri to around 4-5 inches. Winter conditions deteriorated near downtown Kansas City as strong winds and heavy snow moved through the area. A skier took advantage of the new snow near Union Station.
Photo: @scottblairphoto (Instagram)

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