Plains Blizzard Shatters Records, Shuts Down Panhandle Travel

By Jillian MacMath, Staff Writer
March 1, 2013; 4:42 AM ET
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Cars stranded on Hillside Road in Amarillo. Courtesy @pwarminski.

A record-setting blizzard spanned Amarillo, Texas, to Kansas City, Mo., on Monday, leaving high snow accumulations and tall drifts across multiple states.

Thundersnow and extreme blizzard conditions were observed during the afternoon hours.

Travel was treacherous in the hardest-hit areas, including the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. State Departments of Transportation closed major roadways including Interstate 40 from the New Mexico border to the Oklahoma border, as well as Interstate 20 from Amarillo to Lubbock. In the heart of the storm, visibility was reduced to less than 50 feet at times.

Drifts almost reach the top of a cattle shelter. Courtesy of Denise Collier.

There were numerous drifts of 6 to 8 feet high in the hardest-hit areas across the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.

Snow drifts in Amarillo. Courtesy of Andrew Moulton.


This was the third largest snowfall event at Amarillo, only behind March 25-26, 1934, (20.6 inches) and Dec. 26-27, 2000, (20.2 inches).

This was the largest snowfall for a single day in the month of February in Amarillo, Texas. The previous record was 12 inches on Feb. 16, 1893.

This storm pushed Wichita, Kan., over the edge, breaking their record for the greatest monthly snowfall of any month, with a current February amount of 21 inches.

For more reports from Monday's blizzard, visit the archived blizzard reports.


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