Meteorological Madness Part 3

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day: Mother Nature wants to play. Or, at least that’s what it seemed like for us in the Husker State. What we lacked in precipitation, we made up for in warmth.

Even though we really enjoyed the mild March, it was on the dry side in the precipitation department. That will be the focus of this last Meteorological Madness article, or the lack there of. Once again, I’ll just be covering the stats for Lincoln and Grand Island starting off with snowfall totals.

 Leading up to March, the winter of 2011-2012 will most likely go down in the record books as a “wimpy winter”. I’m sure other snow enthusiasts, such as me, took note of the lack of snowfall this past winter. The seasonal snowfall total, up to April 5th, in Lincoln was 18.8” which was 6.1” below normal (normal= 24.9”) and 20.1” in Grand Island which was 8.1” below normal (normal= 28.2”).

 But remember back to the first weekend in February. The bulk of our snowfall came in that snowstorm. Playing Devil’s Advocate and subtracting those totals, we are left with very unimpressive snowfall totals. When factoring that in, Lincoln’s total was only 7.7” for the season and only 10.7” in Grand Island. That would have made it the second least snowiest winter in Lincoln. Just something to think about!

 As for precipitation in the liquid form, well, that was also sub par. Starting from December 1st, rainfall totals were above normal in Lincoln and below normal in Grand Island but only by 0.50”. The heatwave from March 12th -April 1st was interrupted by few cloudy days with much needed rain showers on the 19th-22nd. Checking in with the Drought Monitor, northeastern Nebraska has been labeled as abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.

 Although we didn’t see much in the way of rain or snow, we have already experienced two rounds of severe weather. Tornadoes in Stapleton and Gandy were recorded for the first time ever in February on the 28th. These were the first Nebraska tornadoes since they started keeping records in 1950. Another five tornadoes fired up near North Platte on the night of March 18th. The severe weather season definitely started early in 2012 with the warm, moist gulf air interacting with powerful low-pressure systems charging across the plains. Climatologically, we see this type weather in late April-June, not in March. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re expecting an overly active severe weather season but it’s off to a wild start. 

So, what does this all mean for the remainder of 2012? That’s a really good question. To be honest, I really don’t have the answer but we can make inferences and assumptions based on previous observations and current trends. But we all know what happens when we assume something. Whatever does happen we will keep everyone informed and up to date. I hope these articles were informative and entertaining because there will be more to come in the future!


Meteorologist Tony DeGrand

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