AUSSKY  - 'Going to Extremes' 2013 - Chasing the Weather USA

The Great Kansas Blizzard - Day 3

22nd February 2013

Report: Clyve Herbert

Photography: Jane ONeill & Clyve Herbert 

There's no doubt that Australians get gabby over snow! But even the Kansanians were getting excited over this snow event...the previous winter had been mild with little snow. All the winter storm warnings were out and the bullseye for the heaviest snow had been shifted from Nebraska to Kansas, and by Day 3 there was no doubt that Kansas had copped the best of the storm. The reason why Kansanians were happy about this was their ongoing drought. This amount of snow would put moisture in the ground when it melted, but the process was to take another 2 weeks with one of the coldest ends to winter for a long time. The Day 3 forecast was for sunny and cold.....despite the sunshine this was to be the coldest day of the month with the maximums barely exceeding 27F/-3C.

In the early morning, the snow lay crisp, deep and was only 1degree F!! Despite the clear air, ice crystals were suspnded and could be seen glistening in the rising sun. The contrast of the blue sky and the snow was stunning and we ventured out to photograph the spectacle. This is a sight that we've never seen before, and fortunately our 4WD vehicle handled the conditions well. We found the local sled run on the embankment of the Lake Marion dam wall. Adjacent to the lake the snow was nearly 2' deep - it was a busy day indeed with many photographic opportunities.

Driving back to Hillsboro, the winter storm warnings were being reposted...another blizzard was on the way

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A deceptive sunny morning ...its 12F....almost a foot of snow on the level, time to dig out !Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Plowed roads are covered in hard ice...Photo: Clyve Herbert

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The best time to dig out is within a day of a snowfall...after that the snowpack compresses and becomes heavy.Photo: Clyve Herbert

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A feature of the morning was the brilliant blue sky.Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Photo: Jane ONeill

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Two foot drifts are common along the roadways.Photo: Jane ONeill

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Digging out the main street in Hillsboro, this would take all day...

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'The Cloud" paid us a brief visit!!  Photo: Jane ONeill

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Photo: Jane ONeill

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Piled snow cleared from side roads Photo: Jane ONeill

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Photo: Jane ONeill

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Photo: Jane ONeill


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Hundreds of Geese count em !Photo: Jane ONeill

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What? me worried?

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Photo: Jane ONeill

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The Lake Marion dam wall used for sledding..Photo: Jane ONeill

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Slushy ice on the edge of Lake Marion. Photo: Jane ONeill

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Lake Marion with frozen edges..water temp 33F air temp 22F Photo: Jane ONeill

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Two foot of snow Lake Marion reserve.Photo: Jane ONeill

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Virgin snow Lake Marion.

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Snow pattern lake Marion.Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Riming pier Lake Marion. Photo: Clyve Herbert
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Ice along the edge of Lake Marion. Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Bright blue sky and a foot of snow! Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Lake Marion dam wall .Photo: Jane ONeill

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Still no traffic on HWY 56, the place looks more like a scene out of the Arctic...Photo: Clyve Herbert

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Stay tuned for the next episode...

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