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Now that the 2017-2018 snowfall season is already underway (many areas have already seen a dusting to a few inches), it's time to rewind to last winter and take a look back at the rather unique 2016-2017 snowfall season across the 30-county NWS Hastings coverage area (for climatological record purposes, the annual snowfall season officially runs from July 1 of one year through June 30 of the following year).

Below are graphics and tables that reflect totals, departures from normal/average etc. for the 2016-2017 snow season. Before continuing though, and in order to give last season's snow totals some perspective, official 30-year NCEI normals/averages from 1981-2010 suggest that: 

 "Normal"/average seasonal snowfall within our local area is:

  • 24-30" for most Nebraska counties along/north of the Highway 6 corridor
  • 20-24" for most local counties along the NE/KS border
  • 16-20" for the majority of North Central Kansas, especially south of the Highway 36 corridor. 

The 2016-2017 snowfall season was highlighted/
defined by the following:


  • BY FAR the biggest story of the 2016-17 snow season was the LACK OF SNOW for the vast majority of our coverage area! Based on the maps and official NWS observer totals presented in the tabs below, roughly 95% of our coverage area saw below normal snowfall, and more significantly, roughly 75% of the area received LESS THAN HALF of normal snow! This was especially the case for locations roughly southeast of a line from Arapahoe-Kearney-Fullerton, and including all of north central Kansas. 
  • The only part of our coverage area that received slightly ABOVE NORMAL snow was primarily northern portions of Valley/Greeley counties. In addition, much of Dawson County and portions of immediate surrounding counties saw near-normal to only slightly-below normal amounts. 
  • Per NWS Cooperative Observers: Within the 24 South Central Nebraska counties of the NWS Hastings area, the highest 2016-2017 seasonal snowfall was 36.9" at Ord (Valley County), and the lowest total was 4.0" in Franklin (Franklin County).

  • Per NWS Cooperative Observers: Within the 6 North Central Kansas counties covered by NWS Hastings, the highest 2016-2017 seasonal snowfall was 12.5" near Alton (Osborne County), and the lowest total was a paltry 2.3" at Phillipsburg (Phillips County). 

  • In the Nebraska Tri Cities, official seasonal totals included: Grand Island (9.2"...3rd-least snowy on record!)...Hastings (11.1")...Kearney (13.2").  Note: Historical snowfall records at Hastings and Kearney are considered too incomplete to reliably rank seasons. 

  • In terms of individual snow storms within the local area last winter, the most "newsworthy" one of all was the April 30-May 1 storm that went down in history as one of the most significant, late-season storms on record for several counties along the western and northern fringes of our coverage area (many of these places measured 4-12"). 

    Please refer to the web story links just below for more details on the most significant winter weather events of last season

The Most Notable Winter Precipitation Events From The 2016-17 Season (click red links for details)...

January 15-16, 2017: Most Significant Ice Storm In 10 Years Strikes The Area

February 23-24, 2017: 4-7" Of Snow North Of I-80; Thunder Across The Southeast

April 30-May 1, 2017: Heavy Snow For West/North - Biggest Late Season Snow On Record For Some


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