Snow in May
The Weather, a
Common Nebraska Topic
We had snow on the ground on the first day of
May this year; frost on the 21st, rain, several cold cloudy days
Frequently we have snow
and blizzards in April. In fact the locating of the site for building the
city of Kearney was delayed a few days by an April blizzard back in 1871.
was snow reported in May in surrounding states, especially Colorado and
Question: Was there ever a time when it
snowed in Kearney in May?
Snow in May up to 1954
First Reference Found
4 snow on May 23, 1881
1890 May 5 - 6 a.m. a rain shower turned to snow, which fell thick and
fast It melted as soon s it hit the ground so only those who were awake saw
May 21 - Quite a bit of snow fell last night about 7 p.m. Must not have
accumulated as no measurement was given
3. 1893 May 22 - No moisture since October. A
day of strong winds, thunder and lightning in late afternoon, followed by
considerable hail, a little snow, more wind, and finally 4 inches of rain
With the curbs and gutters now on Central Ave. there was no flooding of the
There was some flooding in the south part
Several private residences had water damage
because wood window frames had dried out due to lack of moisture in
1900 to 1920s
1. 1907 May 2 - Started snowing about 9 p.m.,
7-8 inches by morning.
hope for fruit trees; moisture good for wheat
Photographer A. T. Anderson took photos of several snow views around town
2. 1911 May 2 - a
half inch of snow fell in the morning and quickly melted.
Good moisture for the wheat and for pre-planting field preparation
3. 1915 May 18 -
Rain in the early morning turned to snow and then back to rain.
4. 1917 May 4 - Rain and
snow of the past few days have left the roads in bad shape
[all dirt or gravel, no paving yet except for Seedling Mile]
5. 1923 May 21 - Early
risers reported snow flurries mixed in with the showers
1. 1930 May 17 - Mixed snow and rain around
noon, huge snowflakes for several minutes.
got 4 inches of snow
2. 1938 May 7 - Snow from North Platte to
Kearney. Mostly melted as it fell; Kearney also got 1.6 inches of rain
1. 1943 May 12 -
Snow at ONeill; freezing sleet in Kearney.
Those attending Ravenna commencement exercises had to brave a snow storm
2. 1945 May 8,
V-E day - Kearney businesses took a half day holiday to celebrate.
High school band gave a brief concert down town before church services.
Overcast with a few scattering snowflakes
3. 1947 May 28 - Snow from Cheyenne to Kearney;
Alliance got 12 inches, Gothenburg got 2 inches
Kearney got about an inch, most melting as it hit the ground.
Kearney Hub had picture of cars parked in downtown Kearney with
light coat of snow
Temperature dropped to 29°
1950s (2 severe storms)
1950 May 5, - Snow and high winds peaking at 58
Storm started in
this vicinity about 3 a.m. and continued until 10 a.m. next morning
Temperature was 32° going up to 40° during the day so the snow melted
About 6 inches of
snow on Highway 30 in the morning.
Resulting traffic accidents:
1. Two cars collided on Highway 30 by the Air Base. The driver of one car
lost control when blinded by the
snow and high winds. No serious injuries, just bumps and bruises
2. About four miles west of Kearney a semi jack-knifed causing a traffic
snarl involving about 100 vehicles
3. A little later another truck did the same thing and limited traffic to
snowplows had difficulty removing the heavy snow west of Odessa
1954 May 3 - Rain turned to snow.
Resulting ice and wind brought down an estimated 1500 telephone lines and
broke off 150 poles between
Kearney and Eddyville.
road conditions caused several accidents on Highway 30 in the area including
two fatalities in an accident 2
miles west of Odessa
Other Items of Interest
May 15, 1899 Seven Russian families moved in
to cottonmill tenement houses.
The men work at the Watson ranch and the children work at the cottonmill.
The mill was running
regularly. There had been some changes in the cloth being woven.
A few looms tried heavy ducking, some were doing calico and floor sacks.
May 2, 1935
Television probable but not until 1938
May 7, 1938 World Theater was showing Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs
first full length Technicolor feature film.
Sold out Sunday-Tuesday, held over two more days.
Tuesday afternoon a large number of State Industrial School boys were
brought to the theater to view the movie.
May 9, 1908 - POET'S ODE TO THE DANDELION
'tater vines are wilted, for the frost has knocked 'em out,
and I'll have to buy my 'tators at the. store;
nice tomato bushes, they have traveled up the spout,
and I'll never raise tomatoes any more!
Ah, my garden is a fizzle,
and the beans are frozen black,
and the rhubarb it is buried 'neath the snow,
and my lima beans are lying in a badly wilted stack
but you ought to see my dandelions grow!