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Winter continues to linger

4/23/2013

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Forget April showers, the question this year is will April snow bring May flowers?

Another round of snow brought with it anywhere from an inch to 3 inches in the Hays area, but other northwest Kansas communities were hit harder.

In the southern part of the state, it was much harder as hail was reported in multiple locations, ranging in size from pea-size to 1.75 inches in diameter in Coldwater.

While the southern half of the state dodged hailstones, snow was the order of the day for the northern half.

Amounts varied, but early reports indicated 6 inches of snow fell in Colby and 8.5 in Goodland.

But in that area, a winter storm warning continued this morning, affecting Sherman, Thomas, Wallace, Logan and Gove counties.

Snowfall in the Goodland area was expected to taper off by mid-morning, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office there.

While roads throughout northwest Kansas are considered snowpacked and icy, Kansas Department of Transportation officials Monday evening closed Interstate 70 between Goodland and Burlington, Colo. The highway remained closed this morning.

While weather conditions are responsible for the closing, traffic in part of the area is down to just two lanes due to road construction. Both eastbound lanes are closed, putting both lanes of traffic on the westbound side of the highway.

Snow in April isn't uncommon, according to records maintained at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at the south end of Hays.

While the average for April is 1.14 inches, as much as 8 inches of snow fell April 8, 1919.

Counting the 8-inch snowfall, there have been eight instances since 1901 when more than 5 inches of snow fell in April.

But as temperatures are forecast to warm right back up, it could be just in time for the last frost of spring.

The average last frost in the spring is April 27, even though it has ranged from the earliest on April 2 in 1930 to the latest on May 29 in 1947.