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Cold Day; Mercury Drops to -17
Catherine Stortz Ripley
Activity picked up in downtown Chillicothe today (Thursday) following a
day of little movement coming from anything other than snow plows and an
occasional drip from an icicle. Snow measuring up to 11 inches fell in
Chillicothe on Tuesday and, because of the snow's low moisture content,
deep drifts were created by strong winds. Routines were still disrupted
today as Chillicothe R-2 Schools had cancelled class due to drifting snow
and cold temperatures. City offices had a delayed start because of the
cold. Today goes down in the history books as the coldest day since at
least 1980. The mercury plummeted to 17 below zero overnight. The National
Weather Service records for Chillicothe only date back to 1980.
Catherine Storz Ripley
February 5, 2014
Downtown Chillicothe slowed to a crawl as a fresh layer of snow began to
fall across the area Tuesday morning.
A letter carrier continues her route as usual.
Catherine Storz Ripley,
|A little ways east on Jackson Street
tried to keep up with shoveling snow from his driveway.
|South Washington Street
Nearly all activity throughout Chillicothe and Livingston County came to a
screeching halt as a major winter storm settled in and dropped a thick
blanket of snow on the area Tuesday, February 4, 2014. The official snowfall from
Tuesday's storm was recorded at 7 inches, but other locations throughout Chillicothe saw up to 11 inches. The
official report was made at Chillicothe Municipal Utilities' water treatment plant
south of town. "With the snow blowing around, it's hard to
measure," said Spencer Nell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.
Factoring in the remnants from last weekend's accumulation, the total
amount of snow on the ground is between 12 and 16 inches.
Snow began falling around mid-morning and continued heavily throughout the
day and into the overnight hours. All city offices and the county courthouse closed late Tuesday morning and remained closed today
Schools throughout the C-T readership area had called off
classes for Tuesday and Wednesday. Chillicothe R-2 School Superintendent
Dr. Rogers Barnes stated this morning that it was too early to decide
about classes on Thursday; however, he noted that drifting snow and
forecasted wind chills will likely be a problem. He expected a decision to
be made this evening as to whether there would be class on Thursday.
Steady winds of around 12 mph, along with gusts reaching 25 mph, created
drifts that easily measured two feet deep. Winds are impacting the street
and highway crews as well, with snow blowing back over the roads that
crews have already plowed. The snow in Tuesday's storm was very
"atypical" of the heavy snows this area usually experiences, Nell said.
"Typically, around here, we will see 10 to 12 inches of snow equal around
one inch of liquid precipitation," he said. This snow produced a ratio
closer to 17:1. That low moisture content allowed the snow to accumulate quickly.
According to a local storm report, at 1:30 p.m. there were 2 inches of new
snow accumulation. By 6 p.m. there were 6 inches, by 7 p.m. there were 7
inches, and by 9:30 p.m., 11 inches. Chillicothe was in the thick of the
widespread storm. Brookfield received 11 inches and Trenton 7. Kansas
City broke its snowfall record for the day, with 7.5 inches falling.
Winds were expected to continue throughout Wednesday afternoon, then die
down during the evening hours and set up for a very cold night. Lows were
expected to be 10 below zero with wind chills of 20 below. The weather
service has predicted another storm to arrive on Friday, producing up to 2
inches of snow. "It will be so cold over the next few days that we
won't have melting," Nell said. "What we receive will just pile onto
what's already on the ground."