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Locally Heavy Snow and Rain In A Few Spots

A few locations will see heavy snowfall today, including the northern California mountains and Sierra and across the northern Rockies into eastern Montana. Meanwhile, locally heavy to excessive rainfall is possible across southern Tennessee into northern Alabama and Georgia. A more organized and widespread heavy rainfall threat may be possible midweek for the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. Read More >

Now that the calendar has flipped to November and parts of our 30-county coverage area have already seen their first wet/slushy snow of the season, it's time to rewind and examine last winter's snow season (Oct. 2020-April 2021). As covered in more detail below, the most "notable thing" about last winter was a fairly sharp divide in snow totals between our Nebraska coverage area (most areas 10-15" ABOVE normal) and our Kansas coverage area (most places near-normal). 

Below are various graphics and tables that outline seasonal totals, departures from normal/average etc. for the preceding
2020-21 snow season. Before continuing though, and in order to give last season's totals some perspective, official 30-year normals/averages for our area are:

 "Normal"/average seasonal snowfall within our coverage area (based on 1991-2020 NCEI data):

  • 25-30" for most local Nebraska counties along/north of the Highway 6 corridor 
  • 20-25" for most local Nebraska counties between Highway 6 and KS border 
  • 16-20" for most of our six-county North Central Kansas area|

** Note: You can access daily and seasonal local snow total maps (updated DAILY) at this page: https://www.weather.gov/gid/Snow


 

The 2020-21 snowfall season (Oct. 2020-April 2021) was highlighted/defined by the following "fun facts": 

  • For our coverage area as a whole, the winter of 2020-21 was most noted for a fairly sharp divide in snow totals between our Nebraska coverage area (most areas 10-15" ABOVE normal) and our Kansas coverage area (most places near-normal). In other words, there was more of a difference than usual between these two portions of our coverage area, and the "dividing line" just happened to reside remarkably closely to the state line. 
     
  • For many places, MORE THAN HALF OF THE SEASON'S SNOW FELL DURING JUST A 3-WEEK STRETCH BETWEEN JAN. 25-FEB. 15 (more on this below)! As just one example, Hastings measured 40.1" for the entire season, but 25.1" of this (63%) occurred during these three weeks.
     
  • Within our 24 South Central/Central Nebraska counties (per NWS observers): the highest 2020-21 seasonal snow totals were in our northern coverage area (as is typical), featuring 48.9" at Ord and 44.8" near Shelby, while the lowest totals (but still above normal) included 27.2" at Edison and 28.6" in Naponee. 

  • Within our six North Central Kansas counties (per NWS observers): the highest 2020-21 seasonal totals featured 24.3" at Lebanon and 23.0" near Covert (rural Osborne County), while the lowest amounts included 17.5" at Logan and 18.5" in Smith Center and Cawker City.

  • In the Nebraska Tri Cities: official seasonal totals included: Hastings 40.1" (11.5" above normal)...Grand Island 39.7" (+12.0")...Kearney 36.8" (+15.0). At Kearney, this amount was very similar to the preceding 2019-20 season, but at Grand Island/Hastings these amounts were 9-11" more. In fact, the 2020-21 snowfall season was THE SNOWIEST SINCE 
    2009-10
      for Grand Island/Hastings. 

  • The EARLIEST MEASURABLE SNOW within our coverage area occurred between Oct. 18-19 (as much as 3-6" in Valley/Greeley counties) and the LATEST MEASURABLE SNOW occurred on April 19-20 (as much as 4-6" in parts of north central KS).
     

Chronological Breakdown of the 2020-21 Snow Season:

  • Oct-Dec. 2020:  the season got off to a fairly slow start, with the majority of locations (except for a few mainly far northern counties) measuring no more than 1-4" through Dec. 10th. Things picked up a bit through the rest of December, with two systems each bringing a fairly widespread 2-8" to mainly our Nebraska coverage area (one centered Dec. 11 and the other Dec. 28th-29th). 

  • Jan. 2021: As the calendar flipped to 2021, the majority of January started off relatively snow-free. However, that changed BIG TIME on the 25th-26th as what ended up being the single-biggest storm of the season for the majority of our coverage area dumped a widespread 6-13" in most places (and localized amounts up to 15"). 
     
  • Feb. 2021: While late-January featured the overall-biggest single winter storm within our coverage area, February was actually the overall-snowiest MONTH of the season for the majority of our Nebraska coverage area, with most places accumulating between 9-18". However, this February snow accumulated over the course of several smaller storm systems, none of which dumped particularly heavy amounts. Temperature-wise, this February snow helped set the stage for what ended up being one of the Top-5 coldest Februarys on record across much of the area. In fact, at Grand Island and Hastings (and likely several other official stations) the 10-day stretch from Feb. 7-16 was the overall-coldest 10 days in 38 years! 
     
  • March 2021: Remarkably, the very snowy and cold late-January through mid-February time frame was immediately followed by a remarkably snow-free March. In fact, the vast majority of our coverage area received NO MEASURABLE SNOW during March, which is quite rare! In the Nebraska Tri Cities, this hadn't happened since 2012. 
     
  • April 2021: This lack of late-season snow continued right on through mid-April, but between April 16-20 a pair of systems brought one final coating of snow to most of the area, ranging from less than 1" in some places (including Grand Island/Hastings) to as much as 5-7" in parts of especially north central KS. 

 

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