- Education and Science
Snow in Wichita, Kansas, February 2013 - Round 2
Just days after Wichita, KS, had experienced the second most snowfall in the city's recorded history, the "dub k" was bracing for yet another winter storm, which was taking its sweet time to make its way across the plains region, bringing with it lots of wind and a lot more snow! The day before, however, gave no hint of the blizzard that was approaching.
Sunday, February 24, 2013, dawned crisp and clear with a pristine blue sky and just a hint of chill in the air. I'm naturally hot-blooded, so, perhaps it was a tad bit colder than that...but this is my story :) The city had been blanketed under 14+ inches of snow only days prior, but it had warmed back up enough that the main streets were clear, and the side streets were beginning to melt off pretty good.
The town was abuzz with folks out shopping for whatever they needed to hunker down for a few days and wait out the storm. Every store in the entire city was out of snow shovels. Most stores were also out of ice melt; however, there were limited quantities available if you got lucky enough to hit up the right store. As the day progressed, stores began running low on quantities of bread, meat, and baked goods.
USD #259 canceled school for Monday, February 25, 2013, and all of the school age children in Wichita, KS, set social media abuzz with sentiments of sleeping in for what had turned into an unexpected five day weekend - three days of which were decided by the weather.
The first few flakes of round two began falling in Wichita, KS, around 11:00 am, and it snowed "on again, off again" for the next several hours with no real accumulation. Thankfully, shipments of shovels, sand, and salt were able to make it into Wichita before the brunt of the storm arrived Monday evening. Also, the temperatures for the day were warmer than expected, therefore, some of the previous accumulation was able to melt off as well.
I was so relieved that we were finally getting moisture because this region has been experiencing a severe drought. I don't completely understand how it all works, but evidently, snow is better for the earth than rain because it takes time to seep into the earth as it melts rather than run off quickly into storm drains and such like it does when it rains. Also, I believe snow may deliver nitrogen back into the soil similar to what happens when a field is lit on fire after harvesting and prior to planting the new crop. Again, I have a limited understanding of how all of that works, so don't take my word as gospel. Please feel free to do a little research about it yourself if you are interested, and feel free to correct me in the comments if I am wrong :)
Anyway, I was also happy for the snow because for some reason, I have been wanting to build a snowman - a big snowman - lately. There have been a couple of times in the past few years that Wichita received small amounts of snow, and I would giggle at the miniature snowmen that people would build in their yards. I decided then that as soon as we got enough snow I had to have me a snowman! Thank goodness my youngest son decided he wanted to help me because there was no way I was building a snowman of any impressive size by myself. If you have ever rolled snow to make a snowman, you know exactly what I mean...that stuff gets real heavy, real quick!
Monday came and went in Wichita, KS, without any real significant weather; however, local news stations and others watching the weather (Wichita Police Department, Sedgwick County Sherriff, etc.) warned their facebook followers that the storm was indeed coming, but it was just moving much slower than anticipated. Another thing that I noticed from watching the weather radar throughout the day was that there seemed to be this small circle, kind of like a doughnut hole, that appeared right smack in the middle of all the snow that appeared on the radar. Guess where that hole appeared to hover for much of the day...you guessed it! Wichita, KS! I'm not sure if I'm the only one that noticed that...or if it was just in my imagination...but I think that little "hole" over Wichita spared the city from getting buried even deeper!!
Despite there being little to no accumulation on Monday, USD #259 canceled school again that evening for the next day (wise decision) making it the 4th snow day in a row! Since the snow days happened to fall before and after a weekend, it was now six days in a row that Wichita kids had been out of school. As soon as my kids found out they were out of school for another snow day, they bundled up and went outside (at 9pm) and went crazy in the snow. By now, the brunt of the storm had arrived, and the wind was whipping the snow around as it fell from the sky.
Wichitans woke up Tuesday, February, 26, 2013, to a winter wonderland. It was absolutely gorgeous! Local news stations reported that the total snowfall for the two storms combined woudl put Wichita in the record books for the most snowfall in February since 1913 with over 20" of snow falling in less than a week! My brother surprised me by coming over that morning prior to going to work and shoveling my porch, sidewalk, and half of my driveway. We never even got around to shoveling the other half, but we will be ok because the sun came out and melted the majority of the snow on the driveway and in the streets.
Wichita children returned to school on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, after 4 consecutive snow days. I hope they all remembered to thank mother nature for the nice little unexpected break she delivered to us all by way of a record breaking snowfall in the middle of February! I had fun with my kids over the snow holiday, but I must admit that I was ready for them to return to school so that I could get back to having some peace and quiet around the house during the school day...that is definitely one of those things for me that "you don't know what you got until it's gone!"