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Valley Public Radio Staff
Mon February 25, 2013
Plains Will See Second 'Crippling, Historic Blizzard' In As Many Weeks
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 2:40 pm
Just a week after a blizzard swept through an area from Western New Mexico to West Texas, another system is dumping record snowfall today.
The headline from the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Tex.? "Crippling, Historic Blizzard Ongoing."
As of 12 p.m., one weather station had measured 17 inches of snow. The Weather Service says this blizzard could "easily be in the Top 3 all-time snow events for Amarillo." The all-time snow record for the city is 20.6 inches, so it's within sight.
Wind is also an issue; the Amarillo airport recorded a wind gust of 75 mph. A video posted on the Weather Service's Facebook page showed blowing snow limiting visibility to less than a quarter mile.
"The storm was dumping snow over the Texas Panhandle at a rate of 2 to 3 inches an hour. Oklahoma also was being hit hard, and parts of Kansas and Missouri were bracing as the storm moved closer.
"Almost all roads in the Texas Panhandle were impassable, and whiteout conditions forced the state Department of Transportation to pull virtually all of its snowplows off roads, Texas DOT spokesman Paul Braun said Monday morning."
The Amarillo Globe News reports that the National Guard was called in this morning to help stranded motorists.
"'March is the time we see intense winter storms in the Plains," [Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.,] said. He added the storm's path will take it through the upper Midwest, including Chicago and Detroit, before pushing eastward.
"The system had already passed through Colorado, where flights were canceled, Denver city offices had delayed openings and snow was piled as much as two-feet deep."