Nebraska: Record snowfall in North Platte |

Nebraska: Record snowfall in North Platte

Deanna Nelson-Licking for Tri-State Livestock News

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.

The heavy wet 15 plus inches of snow Nebraska saw on January 19 is a lifesaver for the drought stricken region. Deanna Licking | Courtesy photo
Tyrel Licking driving his team of young draft mares in the snow. With old fashioned horsepower he never gets stuck. Deanna Licking | Courtesy photo
Living in a rural area can come with challenges. While the county has cleared the main road, secondary roads are still blocked. Tyrel Licking parked along the main road and has been riding back and forth to home so he can still accomplish his job of taking care of cattle several miles away. The snow laid down deep across the pastures he rides across and makes for tough going. Tyrel Licking | Courtesy photo
Deanna Nelson-Licking | Courtesy photo