Fall flakes surprise locals





Southwest Kansas got a little taste of winter Friday morning, as snow fell throughout the area for several hours.

The big, wet flakes caught some off-guard, but was a welcome surprise to others. Through Facebook posts, several area residents shared their experiences with the first snowfall of the season.

"I could live without the snow, not ready for that stuff yet," Kay Goodschmidt, Garden City, said.

Kristi Meyers, Deerfield, said that she and her family raced around getting sprinkler systems winterized, while Nathan Downey, Ingalls, said he spent all day shutting down sprinkler systems and cutting sod.

"I'm hoping the ground surface is solid in the morning so we can lay sod," Downey said.

Denise Denton, also of Ingalls, said the snowfall caused her and her family to stop fall harvest.

Bonnie Burgardt, Finney County Transit director, said the snow caused the mini buses and City Link buses to run a couple of minutes late this morning.

"Better safe than sorry," she said.

Others said they enjoyed the beauty, as well as the moisture.

"I enjoyed watching the big, wet flakes and drooping limbs of the trees," Wanda Delarosa, Holcomb, said. "I love nature's beauty."

Linda Adams said she loved the weather this morning, calling the snow, "a gift from the heavens."

Matt Gerard, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Dodge City, said that the snowfall did come earlier than normal.

"Snowfall this early is kind of rare, but we've had snows earlier than this," Gerard said.

He said that prior to Friday, the earliest that Garden City received snowfall in October was Oct. 9, 1970.

Gerard said that based on the data he had, Garden City's earliest snowfall on record was Sept. 20 and 21, 1995. In Scott City, the date was Oct. 11, 1969, and in Hamilton County, it was Sept. 27, 1935, when the area received 4 to 6 inches of snow.

Gerard said Friday's snowfall data was not yet available for Garden City, but he said the NWS received reports that Jetmore received 3.5 inches of snow and that Holcomb received 2 inches.

"We started reporting light rain at abut 5 a.m., and then by 6 a.m., it was changing over to light snow and it ended about 1:30 p.m.," Gerard said.

Because of mild temperatures, the snow melted fast in the afternoon, so there wasn't a great deal of accumulation.

Gerard said there is little precipitation in the forecast.

"There may be a small chance on Sunday evening, but through the rest of the week, I don't really see anything," he said.

The weather resulted in the postponement of the Garden City High School's JROTC Confidence Course grand opening, which was scheduled for 10 a.m. today. The grand opening of the course has not been rescheduled at this time.

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