could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                     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.

Frequently there was snow reported in May in surrounding states, especially Colorado and Wyoming

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

1. 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 it.

2. 1892 – 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 businesses.
    There was some flooding in the south part of town.
    Several private residences had water damage because wood window frames had dried out due to lack of moisture in
         recent months.

1900 to 1920’s
1. 1907 – May 2 - Started snowing about 9 p.m., 7-8 inches by morning.
        No 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

1930’s, the drought years
1. 1930 – May 17 - Mixed snow and rain around noon, huge snowflakes for several minutes.
        Sumner 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 O’Neill; 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°

1950’s (2 severe storms)
1950 – May 5, - Snow and high winds peaking at 58 mph here.
        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 rapidly.
        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 one lane

        Also 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.

        Bad 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
        Disney’s 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.

        O my 'tater vines are wilted, for the frost has knocked 'em out,
        and I'll have to buy my 'tators at the. store;

        and my 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!


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