snowstorm

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Kansas’ hard red winter wheat crop is projected to be around 281 million bushels – about 185 million bushels less than last year’s crop.

Courtesy / Nanci Pratt

Late spring blizzards in the High Plains aren’t very common, especially on the last day of April. Farmers and ranchers in southeastern Colorado, western Kansas and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles are now dealing with the aftermath. They’ve been digging out, dealing with electricity losses and searching for missing cattle in snowdrifts, rain and mud conditions.

City of Garden City storm clean-up update

May 3, 2017
Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

Cleanup work is underway after a winter storm dropped heavy snow on Garden City, bringing down trees throughout the community. Lee Richardson Zoo and Finnup Park are closed until further notice as City crews work to remove downed trees and make the area safe for visitors.

Justin Gilpin / Kansas Wheat

But the electricity is out at his Stanton County farm, where at least 14 inches of snow blankets his wheat fields.

Amid a slumping farm economy, it might seem like a disaster with harvest just weeks away. But Sipes has seen wheat weather many calamities.

“I never count wheat out,” he said.

It will be a week to 10 days before western Kansas farmers know the outcome of the weekend snowstorm, which closed highways and canceled schools.

Courtesy / Lamar Utility Board

While western Kansas bore the brunt of the late-season winter storm over the weekend, portions of eastern Colorado were also impacted.

As The Prowers Journal reports, areas of southeast Colorado, like Springfield and Campo received 7.5 to 10 inches of snow. About four to six inches of snow fell in the Holly area and Lamar received only some accumulation, but 50 mph winds caused some power outages.

Holly, Bristol, Granada and Hartman suffered the most outages, along with areas south of Lamar.  

BRIAN MCGUIRK / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

U.S. wheat futures increased more than 2 percent Monday as frost across key growing regions stoked fears of widespread production losses, pushing prices to a six-week high.

As Reuters reports, at one point Monday, wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose to $4.43 a bushel, the highest since March 10.

Andrew Woodhouse, grains analyst at Advance Trading in Australasia, said with frost through Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, the market is concerned about crop damage.

D.J. Gosch Richmeier

Western Kansans are dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm that caused widespread tree damage and power outages before moving out of the area Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service, the highest recorded snowfall total was 18 inches in far western Hamilton County. Stanton, Grant, Scott, Wichita and Logan counties recorded 13 to 16 inches of snow and about 12 inches of snow fell in Finney and Lane Counties.

The heavy snowfall caused power outages and resulted in widespread damage to trees.

Much of the High Plains region is in the path of a dangerous ice storm that could result in prolonged power outages this weekend.

As AccuWeather reports, freezing rain will begin falling some time Friday from the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles through southwest Kansas.  

Frozen Memories

Nov 27, 2015
cookbookcherie.wordpress.com

A friend’s Facebook post of her daughters holding a big bowl of fresh snow and smiling expectantly reminded me wintry weather isn’t only about driving carefully, shoveling drives, and making snowmen.  It’s also about adding milk, sugar, and vanilla to jillions of miniscule crystals to create something that glides across taste buds and slides into memory.

Who forgets the first time their mom or dad  watched huge flakes fall, saying, “Hope there will be enough to make snow ice cream.”   If deep drifts formed, that parent headed to the cupboard containing  mixing bowls and extracted the big one.  After that, a voice commanded, “Put on your hats, coats, gloves, and boots.  It’s time.”

lilbitfarms.com

Like my students, I appreciate occasional snow days. Waking to hear a DJ listing my school on the school cancelation list reminds me of finding an unexpected twenty dollar bill in an old pair of jeans. 

I swore I would never be a woman who lived her life behind a camera lens.  I wanted to live in the moment, experiencing life as it occurred. 

I achieved this goal until I received a Nikon that captures moments up close and from considerable distance with clicks of a silver button.  Using that telescopic lens, I could see fine details my unaided eye used to see as blurs.