National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
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.