By Nathan French
In what seems to be a recent transition turning us into a winter ski town, Dalhart has been pummeled with yet another snow storm. Rain began falling Wednesday around noon and as the day continued, rain transitioned into sleet and then into very wet snow. Snow continued through Wednesday night and into the early morning on Thursday. Reports state that Wednesday’s storm left somewhere around four to six inches of snow accumulation with a bed of ice underneath.
Aid workers and city maintenance crews stated that this storm will be much more difficult to clean up, as the snow is much heavier and wet, which makes the clean up more challenging. Due to the heavy snow, numerous branches were also broken in the storm, which further complicates the clean up process. Remaining snow accumulation from last week’s blizzard also make the clean up process more challenging.
Wednesday’s storm falls under the category of a “winter storm,” which is defined by an event in which the dominant varieties of precipitation are forms that only occur at cold temperatures, such as snow or sleet, or a rainstorm where ground temperatures are cold enough to allow ice to form. The winter storm varies from a blizzard for its lack of wind which accompanies and partly defines a blizzard.
Road closures seem like a common event after last week’s blizzard; and with Wednesday’s winter storm, it was once again determined that driving conditions on some roads were declined to the point that road closures were necessary. Officials attribute the closing to poor ground conditions, coupled with limited visibility and ice formation on the roadway.
Current temperatures at publishing time are 30 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes icy road conditions still possible. Below freezing temperatures make Wednesday’s precipitation more dangerous. Due to how wet the snow is, when coupled with freezing temperatures, the snow can turn to ice which makes travel difficult. Ice formation also adds the danger of power outages, due to lines being able to withstand the weight of accumulated ice.
Friday’s weather is suspected to be clear, but get your skis out, Dalhart, because we are expected to have another flurry moving in sometime on Sunday. Sunday’s storm is expected to last through a big part of next week and bring more precipitation to our area. The snow blues are here for a little while longer; so, Dalhart, get your favorite cold weather beverage, settle in, watch a movie, and get ready because the snow blues are to continue.