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Early snowfall makes its way into northwest Kansas





DAMAR -- It was no drought-buster, but Richard Benoit couldn't help but admire the beauty of Friday's snowfall.

It was a different story Saturday.

"It's kind of miserable," he said from his rural Damar residence.

Much of northwest Kansas received snow on Friday, some even receiving more on Saturday. Amounts were minimal, virtually all of it melting on contact with the continued dry ground.

At the Goodland National Weather Service Bureau, meteorologist Jerry Killingsworth looked back in the records and found the snow to be earlier than normal, but no record.

The earliest snow, a trace, he said, fell on Sept. 17, 1971.

The earliest measurable snow fell on Sept. 20, 1995, when 3.8 inches fell.

For snow to fall on Oct. 5, is about a month ahead of normal, typically recorded first on Nov. 1 in the Goodland area based on records dating back to 1895.

"Oh, you bet we had snow," Benoit said of the Damar area. "It was pretty. It just came down with big old flakes."

It was enough to turn grassy areas white, he said. But once the snow stopped falling after about a half-hour, the snow just melted off.

"It just made it pretty for the first now," he said. "We had great big flakes."

Saturday's weather didn't bring any snow to Damar, but it did bring drizzle and misty conditions.

"It sure isn't a drought buster, but it will settle the dust," Benoit said.

While temperatures remained cold, Killingsworth said nowhere in Kansas saw freezing temperatures Saturday, as clouds kept the warmth from dissipating.

Saturday night, however, the clouds were expected to move out with winds moderating.

That will be enough to let temperatures plummet.

In the Norton and Oberlin areas, temperatures this morning were expected to fall into the low 20s.

The Dodge City National Weather Service issued a hard freeze warning for Hays, with temperatures expected to fall to 28 degrees.

Today's temperatures, however, are expected to warm back up into the 50s -- reaching into the 70s on Monday with no snow in sight over the next seven days.

Killingsworth said the light rain and snow likely didn't do much to alleviate the drought, and with fall and winter months -- the driest months of the year -- on the way, it's likely dry conditions will remain until spring.