Kansas is no stranger to winter storms. However, the blizzard that hit the Salina area on November 25, 2018 was one for the record books.
An Early Winter Storm
Several factors contributed to what made this particular blizzard a memorable one. The first being there was no previous record of a blizzard hitting Kansas before the start of the meteorological winter, which begins December 1.
Snarling Thanksgiving Travel
Second, this was at the end of Thanksgiving weekend. That meant travel plans were impacted, causing some to cut their trips short to avoid the hazardous weather. It was also not a long-range forecast for the blizzard. The initial estimates were for a mere two to four inches with the system. Salina saw 6.8 inches by the end of the storm. In the areas hardest hit in Kansas, snowfall totals were 14 inches.
The change to the forecast did come with enough warning to allow some travelers to adjust their plans and come home early. Others, however, were caught on the road during the blizzard. While there were several accidents along I-70, none resulted in serious injuries.
Finally, the weather on the front end and back end of the storm was inconsistent with the such a winter phenomenon. Temperatures were in the 50’s the day before the storm. Within two days of the storm, the temperatures were back up 40’s and 50’s. For some, the blizzard provided a great reason to break out the snow toys a little early, but only to be disappointed in the snow’s quick departure.