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Crazy weather on the High Plains – from high planes

March 4, 2012

I flew out of town recently to visit family. My plane took a 360-degree tour of downtown St. Louis before touching down. Awesome view!

While I was in balmy southern Illinois, a mini-blizzard hit the High Plains.

On the return flight on February 21, the transformed landscape near Denver fascinated me. The snow patterns clearly revealed wind direction. On the leeward side of every structure were brown, bare streaks that stood out against the whitened landscape.

North of Denver, the snow cover was patchy. It’s so interesting to see how randomly snow can fall across a given area.

Look at how the snow streaked NW-SE. There were some serious winds with this storm!

The areas of snow accretion contrasted with the areas scoured bare by the wind, giving hilly areas a cratered look.

Highway 71 through the Wildcat Hills looked pretty snowy.

But Scott's Bluff hardly looked frosted at all. Then again, I was seeing the leeward side.

There wasn’t as much snow in Scottsbluff as there had been in Denver, but you could still pick out the storm’s wind direction by the pattern of snow on the ground.

Wind from the northwest blew diagonal snow streaks.

The temperatures in the area are supposed to approach 70 degrees this week. Everyone seems to be rejoicing that spring is coming.

Well, it ain’t here yet, folks. In case you need reminding, we’re on the High Plains. We can get snow well into May.

Here is a photo I took on a flight out of Denver on May 1, 2011:

There's that patchy snow again!

Here’s an image of one of those random clouds dumping snow on May 1, 2011:

That was a little bit of a rough flight home, with mini thunder-snow storm clouds scattered about.

Aaannnd . . . a photo of my peonies budding on May 12, 2010:

The forecast for Tuesday calls for a high of 69 degrees – and a 20 percent chance of snow that night.

Gotta love High Plains weather.

Copyright 2012 by Katie Bradshaw

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2012 9:45 pm

    Amen to that crazy weather! That same storm that left nothing in town put 3 foot drifts in my driveway (near the hills). 🙂

  2. March 5, 2012 7:55 am

    I guess the only thing life that is permanent is CHANGE!

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