The central Plains was hit hard by quite a formidable storm on February 21. The storm ejected out of the Rockies late February 20 and grew into a substantial storm over the Plains dumping heavy snow and ice over parts of Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa.
Several cities declared snow emergencies. Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri all were declared State of Emergencies. The epicenter occurred over Kansas and Missouri. More than 17 inches of snow fell across central Kansas with large ice accumulations over parts of Missouri and Arkansas. The National Weather Service described this event as "the strongest winter storm in decades in Kansas".
One of the most unique aspects of the storm was the high occurrence of thundesnow over parts of Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. Thundersnow is a weather phenomena where strong vertical motion in a snow storm leads to high snowfall rates and convection. Snowfall rates were falling on the order of 2-3"+ per hour over this region.
Wichita, KS recorded it second largest snowfall ever with 14.2". Kansas City recorded its 5th largest February snow on record with 9.2". The winter storm was responsible for shutting down entire cities, knocking out power to thousands, stranding cars and trucks on the roads, and causing numerous delays and accidents. In addition, there have been numerous reports of roof collapses in Missouri and Kansas due to the weight of the snow.
It's going to two or three more storms of this magnitude or greater to offset the historic drought that's occurred over this region.
Another major winter storm threatens this same region including Wichita early next week.
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