|Storm opens New Year|
By Jan Rahn
Lots of New Year’s preparations were undoubtedly switched over to Plan B Friday as a winter storm marched through the area dumping several inches of snow accompanied by gusts that dipped the wind chill temperatures to around 20 below zero.
Flakes began late morning Thursday with the brunt of the storm hitting late evening and continuing throughout the night and much of the day Friday with daytime temperatures reaching 2 degrees.
A northwest wind between 13 and 20 mph with gusts as high as 28 mph along with the frigid temperatures created hazardous conditions for both humans and animals.
Accumulations in the area were expected to be between five to eight inches, although a true reading was difficult due to the blowing snow.
New Year’s Day was mostly sunny with a high near 17—but wind chill values were as low as 18 below zero due to the west/northwest wind between 7-10 mph.
By mid week the temperatures are predicted to climb back into the mid-30s.
New Year Weather Data
Records of New Year climatology have been kept at North Platte since August 1874.
The National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office released data on a wide range of weather experienced on the first day of the new year for a period of 136 years.
• 1875-2010 Temperature Data: The highest was 64 degrees which occurred twice, the first day of 1943 and on New Year’s 1997.
The lowest recorded temperature on New Year’s Day also occurred two times, 1885 and 1924.
The average high temperature during the same period was 34.7 degrees. The average low was 10.1 degrees.
• Precipitation Data: The maximum precipitation of 0.59 inches was recorded in 1976. Maximum snowfall was 11.9 inches, also recorded in 1976.
Precipitation occurred 53 times on New Year’s Day during the period of record, with 21 of those times being measurable (more than a trace).
Snow fell 52 times, with a measurable amount occurring 21 times.
There were 83 years recorded where no precipitation fell on New Year’s Day.
The most snow on the ground was nine inches recorded two times, in both 1974 and in 2007.
• White New Year’s: During a period of 125 years—from 1886 to 2010—one inch or more of snow on the ground at observation time on Jan. 1 occurred 42 years.
During the past 25 years, there were seven times when a white New Year’s Day occurred.
Only three times over the past 10 years has there been a white New Year’s—nine inches in 2007, two inches in 2008 and one inch in 2010.
There were four consecutive years with a white New Year’s Day, from 1982-85.
There were two times when eight consecutive years without a white New Year’s Day were recorded: from 1929-36 and from 1950-57.
• Weather summary past five years:
In 2006 it was 44 degrees and cloudy with light rain most of the day.
New Year’s Day in 2007 was mostly sunny and 28 degrees.
It was 25 degrees and mostly sunny in 2008.
In 2009 temperatures reached 42 degrees under mostly sunny skies.
Light morning snow and fog greeted the New Year of 2010 with a high of 14 degrees.