Weekly Weather (Snow) Review
By Aaron Graves
Welcome to the new arctic frontier, Dalhart, Texas. We’ve got snow, snow, snow. Polar bears and penguins freely roam the streets of Denrock. Tourists are flocking in from Colorado to ski down the boat ramp at Lake Rita Blanca. The 2010 Winter Olympics are set to start next week at the XIT Rodeo Arena.
It seems like that at least. Two snow storms in one week and a third is possible this weekend. Dalhart received a foot
of snowfall last Thursday and Friday, January 28 and 29. Schools closed, as did major highways. Dalhart’s fearless snow plow drivers had the main in-town roads cleared for Friday morning. However, residential streets bogged down cars and stranded some drivers.
By Friday afternoon, residents began to dig out. Bobcats, John Deere’s and Cats cleared parking lots and driveways. Temperatures warmed slightly over the weekend, but the snow pack proved slow to melt. City crews were still trying to clear Denrock Wednesday afternoon when the second snowstorm blew in.
A rain and snow mix started early Wednesday, and by sunset, huge snowflakes were falling. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area. Tree limbs began snapping around town under the weight of another 7.5 inches. Power outages were reported in certain areas. Residents once again began digging out yesterday afternoon.
The weekly crop and weather report from Texas A&M mentioned that last week’s snowstorm would be beneficial to the Panhandle winter wheat crop, as a foot of snow translates into an inch or two of moisture for the ground. Advanced warning of last week’s storm also allowed producers to prepare their cattle, and livestock losses were minimal, according to the report.
January ended with an average high temperature of 50.9 degrees and an average low of 17.5, which is pretty much normal. The snowfall on January 28 registered 2.25 inches of moisture, bringing the monthly total to 2.28 inches. That is well above what the Dalhart area usually sees this time of year.
Another winter storm is possible Sunday night into Monday. The National Weather has put our odds at 40 percent for snow Sunday evening, but they haven’t ventured a guess yet on how much snow might fall.
High and low temperatures for the past week: Jan. 28: High 32, Low 16; Jan. 29: High 27, Low 7; Jan. 30: High 41, Low 8; Jan. 31: High 37, Low 8; Feb. 1: High 39, Low 14; Feb. 2: High 43, Low 12; Feb. 3: High 34, Low 30.
January 2010 compared to previous years: Jan. 2010: Avg. High 50.9, Avg. Low 17.5, Moisture 2.28 in. Jan. 2009: Avg. High 54.5, Avg. Low 19.5, Moisture Trace Jan. 2008: Avg. High 50.2, Avg. Low 17.1, Moisture .02 in. Jan. 2007: Avg. High 40.5, Avg. Low 17.8, Moisture .83 in. Jan. 2006: Avg. High 58.7, Avg. Low 21.0, Moisture .02 in.