The Garden City Telegram
5/7/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Late snow

Late snow

Regardless of how it comes, all precipitation welcome.

We may be several weeks into spring, but that didn't keep Mother Nature from delivering yet another one of her surprises.

Such was the case last week with the arrival of snow, including some 3 inches that reportedly fell in Garden City. It was the first time the city received measurable snow in May since 1917, according to the Southwest Research-Extension Center.

Still, a local meteorologist said the recent weather pattern wasn't all that strange.

"It's pretty much a typical spring fluctuation, though having this cold of an outbreak is a little unusual this time of year," Duane Wolfe of the National Weather Service in Dodge City said. "Normally, during the spring season from March through May, you'll get quite a bit of oscillation between cold and warm. It seems odd because the last couple of years we went pretty much straight from winter to summer with no spring."

As unusual as the snow may have seemed to the rest of us, few would disagree that it was welcome, considering the desperate need for any form of moisture in the midst of severe drought.

After all, as of Monday morning, Garden City had recorded just a scant 0.91 inches of precipitation. And not for the month, but for the year.

That was compared to the normal precipitation of more than 4 inches at this point in the year, which in itself is far from a bountiful amount.

Consider it just another chapter in the same sad story we know all too well in arid southwest Kansas.

The recent snowfall did at least bring a bit of precipitation, and the forecast for this week called for rain, bringing some hope of seeing the region at least chase normal figures.

As always, we'll celebrate any measurable precipitation in a community that depends on the success of agriculture, whether in efforts to grow crops, tend to livestock or other related endeavors that help fuel the local economy.

And while more precipitation likely won't arrive in the form of snow again this spring, any nice run of rain would suit us just fine.