Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Winter Storm
State NEBRASKA
County/Area HOWARD
WFO GID
Begin Date 02/03/2012 19:00:00 CST-6
End Date 02/04/2012 15:00:00 CST-6
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 0/0
Property Damage 0.00K
Crop Damage 0.00K
Episode Narrative Leading up to this significant snow event, the preceding eight weeks had been unseasonably warm and dry across most of South Central Nebraska, with parts of the area likely drawing ever-closer to receiving a Category D2 (severe) drought designation from the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, this all changed during a roughly 42-hour period centered from Thursday evening the 2nd through Saturday afternoon the 4th. Within this time frame, much of the 24-county area experienced its biggest snowfall of the 2011-2012 winter season, with many areas tallying 6-13 inches of heavy, wet snow. Sporadic lightning accompanied some of the heaviest snow bands, resulting in ���thundersnow.��� In addition to (and prior to) the onset of snow, several counties mainly east of a Franklin to Grand Island line picked up rainfall ranging from 0.25-inch to over 1 inch. As a result, storm-total precipitation amounts from this system were quite notable for early February, and also quite welcome given the recent dry spell, with the majority of the 24-county area totaling between 1-2 inches. For parts of the area, including Hastings, these liquid-equivalent precipitation amounts were the highest on record for any two-day period during the month of February.

Focusing on storm total snowfall, the heaviest corridor with amounts averaging at least 7 inches encompassed about 15 counties and was centered roughly 25 miles either side of a line extending from near Holdrege-Minden-Doniphan-Benedict. This corridor of heaviest snow included Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney. According to NWS Cooperative Observers, some of the highest amounts fell at Bradshaw (13.3 inches), Minden (12.2), York (11.0), Hastings (11.0) and Grand Island (9.4). The combination of the heavy, wet snow, along with north winds gusting to around 30 MPH for several hours, resulted in at least minor tree damage and power outages across the area. Outside the zone of heaviest snow, the far northern, western and southern portions of South Central Nebraska saw lesser amounts mainly in the 2-6 inch range, including locations such as Ord, Cozad, Elwood, and Hebron. For some of these areas outside the primary snow zone, this was not even the biggest snow event of the 2011-2012 winter season, with that distinction belonging to early-season December events.

Looking at the timeline and meteorological background of this event, the culprit was a strong mid-upper level low pressure system that strengthened as it neared the Central Plains. Early in this event, temperatures remained warm enough to support rain as the first round of precipitation lifted across mainly eastern portions of South Central Nebraska between the evening of the 2nd and morning of the 3rd. As previously mentioned, rainfall amounts from this initial overnight round were commonly between 0.25 to over 0.75-inch, with one of the highest totals through sunrise on the 3rd featuring 0.97-inch near Shickley in Fillmore County. During the daylight hours on Friday the 3rd, the majority of the 24-county area experienced nothing more than off-and-on light rain or drizzle, while the initial band of heavy snow set up across western and north central Nebraska. Finally, as temperatures cooled on the evening of the 3rd, snow gradually picked up in coverage and intensity across the local area. The heaviest hourly rates of at least 1 inch per hour, along with pockets of thundersnow, focused between 8 PM on the 3rd and 6 AM on the 4th as the mid-level deformation zone pivoted across the area. During the daytime hours on Saturday the 4th, snow gradually decreased in intensity, with most additional accumulations in excess of 2 inches focused along and east of the Highway 281 corridor. One of the few areas where snow totals fell noticeably short of forecasted values included western Dawson County. This was largely due to the fact that concentrated snow bands ���jumped��� over this area, focusing off to the west early in the event, and then re-forming to the east during the evening of the 3rd into the morning of the 4th.
Event Narrative Snowfall totals of 6 to 9 inches were reported across the county.


All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SHERMAN (ZONE) SHERMAN (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 17:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FURNAS (ZONE) FURNAS (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 17:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
GOSPER (ZONE) GOSPER (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 17:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DAWSON (ZONE) DAWSON (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 17:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
VALLEY (ZONE) VALLEY (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 17:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HARLAN (ZONE) HARLAN (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 18:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
BUFFALO (ZONE) BUFFALO (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 18:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
PHELPS (ZONE) PHELPS (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 18:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FRANKLIN (ZONE) FRANKLIN (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 18:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
KEARNEY (ZONE) KEARNEY (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 18:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
WEBSTER (ZONE) WEBSTER (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 19:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
ADAMS (ZONE) ADAMS (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 19:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HALL (ZONE) HALL (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 19:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HOWARD (ZONE) HOWARD (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 19:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
GREELEY (ZONE) GREELEY (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 19:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FILLMORE (ZONE) FILLMORE (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
YORK (ZONE) YORK (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
POLK (ZONE) POLK (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
NUCKOLLS (ZONE) NUCKOLLS (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
NANCE (ZONE) NANCE (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MERRICK (ZONE) MERRICK (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
THAYER (ZONE) THAYER (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
CLAY (ZONE) CLAY (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HAMILTON (ZONE) HAMILTON (ZONE) NE 02/03/2012 20:00 CST-6 Winter Storm 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
Totals: 0 0 0.00K 0.00K