4.8-inch snowfall in May breaks record
A winter storm produced a record-setting snowfall — an official 4.8 inches of snow — for May 2 and 3 and wreaked havoc across the Livingston County area. Power was severed to the entire Chillicothe Municipal Utilities system due to storm-related problems encountered by the city's power provider. Power was out for much of the morning in the entire city as well as surrounding communities. Farmers Electric Cooperative, which serves customers in nine counties, reported 24 broken utility poles within its system and 1,100 customers without power.
Only one other time has there been measurable snowfall in this area during May, according to records with the National Weather Service. The NWS reported that the only measurable snow on record to have ever fallen in May came in 1907. During that year, Kansas City received 1.7 inches of snow on May 2-3. The city of Bethany set the overall state record with the most snow in May — 4.5 inches.
According to the May 3, 1907, edition of The Chillicothe Constitution, an excess of 3 inches fell in Chillicothe during that storm which spanned May 2 and May 3, 1907.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike July stated that although the service did not have specific records for Chillicothe, he considered this latest snowfall a record.
"It is safe to say this is a record snowfall for Chillicothe," July said. "If we look at the highest snowfall amount ever at 4-and-a-half inches in Bethany in 1907, it's safe to say that this is a record for Chillicothe."
It was May 2 and 3 in 1907 when the only other recorded measurable snowfall in May came. Ironically, it was May 2 and 3 that this last snowfall arrived. Rain began falling late Thursday afternoon. By 6 p.m., large snowflakes were coming down and quickly melting. However, as the evening progressed, the snow continued and started accumulating.
For the 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. today (Friday, May 3), the official snowfall measurement was 4.8 inches, July stated.
The snow was heavy, weighing down tree limbs and branches that had already budded and started leafing out. Many branches and limbs and even trees broke under the snow's weight. Broken limbs had blocked roads and struck power lines throughout the area. Power lines, themselves, were hanging low due to the heavy snow accumulating on the lines.
At Field School, a power line hung low and caution cones were set up in front of the school to block traffic.
The snowstorm hit a narrow swath dumping between three and five inches of snow in an area from Warrensburg, north to Chillicothe and on into Trenton, and was about 30 miles wide, July said. Cameron reported 4 inches, as did Gallatin. Places in Grundy County received around 5.5 inches.
Photo Gallery of May's snowstorm: http://www.chillicothenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=MO&Date=20130503&Category=PHOTOGALLERY&ArtNo=503009984&Ref=PH&taxoid=73_169_370_629