Archive for Thursday, March 23, 2006

Area receives less snow than expected

Spring yet to make an appearance

March 23, 2006

A heavy, first-day-of-spring snowfall didn't materialize for Lansing; instead, in the wake of a winter storm warning, the immediate area received only a light dusting of snow.

"There was a little more warm air mixed into the system in western Missouri and eastern Kansas, and that shifted all the heavier snowfall a little farther north into Nebraska and Iowa," said Ryan Cutter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo.

That warm air, Cutter said, was enough to hold off the snow in most of the areas in and around Lansing and Leavenworth County until early this morning.

"A one-degree or two-degree difference in temperature changes the whole profile of a storm," Cutter explained Tuesday morning. "Instead of the heavy snow that fell farther north, we had a cold rain, drizzle and sleet last night."

The atmospheric temperatures finally dropped enough early Tuesday morning to produce light snow - less than an inch accumulation - in Lansing and across Leavenworth County and much of the metro area.

"It was a good dusting across the area," he said.

A map produced by the National Weather Service showed that areas north of Atchison in Kansas and Gallatin and Chillicothe, Mo., received from 1 to 2 inches of snow and sleet, while areas along and north of the Missouri-Iowa border received 3 to 4 inches of snow.

Other areas of Kansas were harder hit. Parts of western Kansas received upwards of a foot of snow, and portions of Interstate 70 from Hays to the Colorado border were closed overnight because of the storm.

The Lansing Wastewater Treatment Plant measured .41 of an inch of precipitation Monday and Tuesday morning, said Tony Zell, wastewater superintendent.

The wintry weather may let up soon and make way for spring. No more precipitation is expected this weekend, and highs should begin to climb into the 50s as soon as Friday.

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