Strange snow fall in Nebraska

General Discussions: ASK John: Strange snow fall in Nebraska

By swanee on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 12:02 pm: Edit Post

John, Back in 1993 when I was making a trip back from Colorado in late February I encountered something I had never seen before. As we drove across the plains along i80 we came across a patch of snow that was probably 40 feet wide and about 3-6 inches deep. This covered the interstate as well as went as far north and south as you could see, not in a straight line though. The interesting thing was there was no snow anywhere else (possibly a dusting). The snow that covered i80 had been well traveled on, so it was not a recent (within the last few minutes) occurance. The only way I can really describe it is if you can imagine a dump truck 40' wide dumping snow from its tailgate to make a north/south path.

Have you ever heard of an occurance like this? Its one of the many things I have experienced that I need an explanation for. Thanks for all you do for the snowmobile community.

By favoritos on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 03:40 pm: Edit Post

I have seen a completely opposite effect from buried oil pipeline. You could follow the pipeline for miles with the 40 foot wide section of bare ground.

I have also seen buried loopfields from Geo heating systems covered with snow and bare ground all around.

Is it possible something has been buried in that area causing the wierd snow?

By swanee on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 03:51 pm: Edit Post

I guess it is possible that there is a 40" wide cooling system buried under Nebraska that would retain the snow. That could be one explanation, however I'm not sure that is the case here. Maybe FRNash can find something here.

I have seen what you are talking about with the bare ground. The Parkview in Twin Lakes has this problem behind their building, as they heat their place with 3 woodburner furnaces(leave me alone I'm a troll).

By admin on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 07:23 pm: Edit Post

Without seeing it first hand and without knowing what the atmosphere was like that day, it is pretty difficult for me to say what caused this.

I can say that it is pretty hard for the atmosphere to create something that is only 40 feet wide. Not impossible, but even a thunderstorm is going to put down a precip swath that is typically more than 40 feet wide.

If it were caused by mother nature alone, then it would have had to have been convective in nature, something like a thunderstorm, although not necessarily containing thunder and probably much smaller in scale. I would also be surprised if it were flakes of snow. More likely snow pellets or what we call graupel. Flakes of snow would be pretty likely to drift and not be contained to one specific spot.

Too bad you do not have any pics and I cannot look at the atmospheric setup that day to try and figure it out for sure. Sure sounds like a unique thing what ever caused it.


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