Recent snowstorms have a sunny side
Moisture helps ease drought
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Perhaps the only good thing about having two large snow storms in about a week is the moisture they brought could make an impact on the drought in Mid-Missouri.
“One alone wouldn’t do it. But with this second one, you’re talking about the possibility of up to 2 1/2 inches of water and that would help the topsoil, some of the subsoil,” said science officer Ron Przybylinski with the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
Przybylinski said the area got 6-10 inches of snow with the storm that hit Monday night into Tuesday morning, about the same amount as what was seen in last week’s storm.
“We saw large snow flakes coming down in this storm,” he said. “We knew that was a possibility because we had a lot of rising air and that causes large snow flakes to form. We’re talking about flakes as big as 2 to 2 1/2” in diameter. Once those formed, you get a lot of snow and that led to cracked trees limbs and downed power lines.”
Przybylinski added these snows may bring the levels on the Missouri River up a little, but not much.
“When the spring snow melts occur, you’ll see higher levels, and they have had heavy snows in Nebraska and Kansas along the river so that will cause a rise, but how much I’m not sure,” he said.
With this snow, Przybylinski said, we should be above where we normally are for snowfall amounts in the winter, which is 14.8 feet.
“We are looking at more snow possibly Friday night and again Monday,” he said. “Now all this won’t completely solve the drought problems. But if we get more rain/snow events into March, it will help farmers more compared to last year. The key is the northwest flow in the atmosphere possibly bringing waves of weather systems to generate snows, some only narrow bands where some get it and others don’t. It still would take many events to put a good dent into our lack of subsoil moisture.”