Nebraska: Record snowfall in North Platte
Following one of the warmest and driest years on record, the first three weeks of 2023 has brought tremendous moisture to Nebraska. Much of state received 8 to 18 inches of snow on January 3. That snow has settled and melted somewhat but on the 18th the state was hammered again. Interstate 80 was closed as were most highways across the the middle of the state. Schools and nonessential facilities closed and authorities urged everyone to stay home. The snow came heavily most of the 19th with at time several inches accumulating an hour. There was some blowing and drifting but thankfully without extreme high winds. This storm has laid a heavy wet blanket across parched fields and pastures. The ground is not frozen in most areas so producers are also going to have to deal with mud as the snow begins to melt. The recent snow has made grazing of corn stalks very difficult if not impossible in areas and some ranchers are struggling to find enough hay and get feed to livestock.
The official snowfall total for the 19th at the National Weather Service office in North Platte, Nebraska is 13.9″ a new daily all time record (midnight to midnight). The old record was 12.6 inches set in 1888 and 1904. Merna, Nebraska reported 23.5 inches and Grand Island reported 10 inches.