Archive for Sunday, September 20, 1998


September 20, 1998


National Weather Service meteorologist George Phillips says you could use a variety of words to describe the weather in northeast Kansas, but ``normal'' isn't one of them.

``I would say normal doesn't mean anything here,'' he said.

``Normal is made up of so many extremes, you've got to be prepared for everything -- extreme heat and extreme cold.''

Violent thunderstorms with large hail and tornadoes, freezing rain and snowstorms also may threaten.

Precipitation, which includes rain and snow, falls about 100 days each year in Lawrence.

Ten inches of snow is equal to about one inch of rain, in terms of moisture content.

The average annual snowfall for the city is 21 inches.

For new residents wondering what the chances of having a white Christmas are here, northeast Kansas, including Lawrence, has a white Christmas once every four or five years, on average.

There is a 20 percent to 25 percent probability in any given year, based on more than 100 years of data, the National Weather Service says.

The information includes days that snow has been on the ground or has fallen in Topeka on Dec. 25, for the last 104 years, said Mike Akulow, a NWS forecaster in Topeka.

Similar data for Lawrence was not available.

But Topeka only is 25 miles from here, a short distance in meteorological terms, Akulow said.

"Generally, what's happening here is going on there," he said.

Phillips said fall usually means the best weather in the area.

``We generally have dry weather and very nice, low humidities, and lots of sunshine. It's quite pleasant,'' he said.

The earliest measurable snowfall in Topeka was Oct. 9, 1970, and the latest measurable snowfall was May 3, 1907, according to NWS records.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is

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