Where's spring? Third winter storm in a week hitting Northern U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:52 PM GMT on April 15, 2013

Share this Blog
22
+

Are we worthy of spring? That's the question residents of much of northern tier of states must be asking themselves this week. The winter of 2012 - 2013 refuses to give way to spring over the Northern Plains and Great Lakes, where snow will once again rule the skies this third week of April. Although the U.S. had an unusually warm winter during 2012 - 2013, ranking as the 20th warmest since 1895, March and the first half of April have been below average in temperature, with March 2013 ranking as the 43rd coldest March in the 119-year record. Two separate April snowstorms have set all time snowiest-day records at two major cities in the Northern Plains, with the latest record to fall the all-time snowiest day for Bismark, North Dakota. On Sunday, Winter Storm Xerxes walloped Bismark with 17.3" of snow, beating the city's previous all-time snowiest day record of 15.5" on March 3, 1966. Sunday's powerful blizzard brought heavy snow, gusty winds of 30 - 40 mph, and near-zero visibility to much of North Dakota, forcing the closure of the entire 350-mile stretch of I-94 through the state on Sunday and Monday morning. Heavy snow and white-out conditions on I-94 in Minnesota closed an additional portion of the freeway in that state, due to a semitrailer crash. Just last week, Winter Storm Walda brought Rapid City, South Dakota its snowiest day on record on April 9, when 20.0" fell at the airport. The 28.2" of snow during April 2013 is now the second snowiest April at the Rapid City Regional Airport, surpassed only by April 1970 when 30.6" of snow fell.


Figure 1. What a difference a year makes: snow was almost non-existent in the Upper Midwest on April 15 last year, but there is plenty this year. Image credit: NOAA.

Spring a slow-show
The cold weather this spring in the Upper Midwest has not been remarkably intense, but it has been unusually persistent, with few breaks from the colder than average conditions. In Fargo, North Dakota, the warmest day so far this year has been 43°F, and the city appears poised to record its latest 50°F on record. According to the NWS in Fargo, the latest day Fargo has hit 50°F was April 17, 1881. The current forecast calls for the temperature to remain below 50° through at least April 24. In Grand Forks, ND, the warmest it has been this year is a chilly 40°F (on January 10.) Spring has also been a slow-show in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where the 2.3" of snow that fell on Marquette on Sunday brought the seasonal total snowfall over 200"--the first time since the winter of 2007 - 2008 the city has eclipsed that mark. The snow depth in the city is 38", the deepest snow this late in the year since 1980. Marquette's warmest temperature so far this year has been 47°F on March 29. Since Marquette usually records their first 50° reading by March 15, they are a month behind schedule. The latest 50° reading since record keeping began in 1961 was April 26, 1965. The latest forecast calls for the temperature to come close to 50° on Monday, then stay below 50° for the succeeding week, so Marquette may beat its record for latest 50° temperature.

Winter not done with the Upper Midwest yet
Winter isn't done with the region yet--a new slow-moving winter storm called "Yogi" is developing over the Rockies of Northern Colorado. The storm promises to bring up to a foot of snow to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and a swath of 6+ inches to portions Northern Colorado and Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota by Thursday. This storm also has the potential to cause one of the year's largest severe weather outbreaks; NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is already calling for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather for Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri on Wednesday.

Other interesting wunderblogs
It's also been a persistently cold April in Alaska, as weather historian Christopher C. Burt notes in his latest post.

Wunderblogging meteorologist Lee Grenci has an interesting post on why last week's severe weather outbreak had so few tornadoes, despite the presence of a strong cold front and plenty of moisture and thunderstorms.

Jeff Masters

Iron Belt WI April 13 (lilElla)
Bella & snow in Iron Belt WI and snow keeps coming.
Iron Belt WI April 13
Robins Return (martinmotor)
The robins have returned to Minnesota just in time for heavy snow.
Robins Return
April Snow in Wisconsin (pineaire)
Sandhills & geese trying to figure out how to handle the nasty weather in April
April Snow in Wisconsin

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 108 - 58

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5Blog Index

108. MississippiWx
7:13 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Always in motion, the future is

MSLP forecasts, or any forecast beyond a few months out that look into the "heart of the season" often hold little bearing to what we may actually see. It can and will change.


While they may not be totally accurate, the ECMWF forecasts have shown some skill this far out. However, the ECMWF did show something similar to this last year and we ended up with 19 named storms. Of course, the ACE did not reflect what you would typically expect from 19 tropical systems (because of our weak/subtropical systems). Part of the reason for the ECMWF's blown forecast last year was its forecast of El Nino conditions. Since that never panned out, the above average MSLP forecasts were blown. It is interesting that the ECMWF is forecasting above average MSLP for this season without forecasting an El Nino.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
107. Tropicsweatherpr
7:12 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Always in motion, the future is

MSLP forecasts, or any forecast beyond a few months out that look into the "heart of the season" often hold little bearing to what we may actually see. It can and will change.


Good point because look what occurred on last years April forecast,high pressures everywhere and we know the results of the season.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
106. Gearsts
7:12 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Levi has some interesting post on his twitter.Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
105. CybrTeddy
7:08 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Always in motion, the future is

MSLP forecasts, or any forecast beyond a few months out that look into the "heart of the season" often hold little bearing to what we may actually see. It can and will change. For reference sake, here's April 2012.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24455
104. Gearsts
7:07 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:
Latest Euro forecast for MSLP in the Atlantic is not promising for big number forecasts.

The question is why is the model seeing below normal activity.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
103. Gearsts
7:05 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Sorry I meant to say what is the ECMWF MSLP April forecast showing...thanks
High pressure everywhere.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
102. MississippiWx
7:05 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Latest Euro forecast for MSLP in the Atlantic is not promising for big number forecasts.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
101. LargoFl
6:58 PM GMT on April 15, 2013
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED AN

* URBAN FLOOD ADVISORY FOR...
CENTRAL MIAMI-DADE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 445 PM EDT

* AT 242 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR HAS INDICATED THAT 2 TO 3 INCHES
OF RAINFALL HAS FALLEN OVER AROUND THE COUNTRY WALK AND REDLAND
AREAS DURING THE LAST COUPLE OF HOURS. THE STORMS WILL BE MOVING
VERY SLOWLY TO THE EAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS WHICH
COULD PRODUCE ANOTHER 1 TO 2 INCHES DURING THE NEXT HOUR OR TWO.
IF THE RAINFALL RATES INCREASE MORE THAN FORECAST...THEN A FLASH
FLOOD WARNING MAYBE NEEDED FOR THIS AREA.

MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO
AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY
DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS MAKE THE
SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE PONDING OF WATER IN URBAN AREAS, HIGHWAYS,
STREETS AND UNDERPASSES AS WELL AS OTHER POOR DRAINAGE AREAS AND LOW
LYING SPOTS. RUNOFF WILL ALSO CAUSE ELEVATED WATERS LEVELS IN CANALS
AND DITCHES.

A FLOOD ADVISORY MEANS PONDING OF WATER IN URBAN OR OTHER AREAS IS
OCCURRING OR IS IMMINENT. RUNOFF MAY ALSO ELEVATE WATER LEVELS IN
CANALS AND DITCHES.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741
Hydrus stay alert down there................SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
FLC086-151915-
/O.NEW.KMFL.SV.W.0020.130415T1831Z-130415T1915Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
231 PM EDT MON APR 15 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
WEST CENTRAL MIAMI-DADE COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 315 PM EDT

* AT 230 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED OVER WEST CENTRAL MIAMI-DADE
COUNTY...AND MOVING EAST AT 5 MPH.

* THE STORM WILL AFFECT...
NEAR FORTYMILE BEND AND US 41
RURAL WESTERN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 58 MPH AND
OR LARGE HAIL. FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING AND HEAVY RAINFALL IS
ALSO POSSIBLE. IF THE STORM APPROACHES YOUR LOCATION, SEEK SHELTER IN
AN ENCLOSED BUILDING ON THE LOWEST FLOOR AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741
Sorry I meant to say what is the ECMWF MSLP April forecast showing...thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741
Quoting nofailsafe:


Wow, what a dipole.


Here is a real good look at the tripole.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
What's it showing Gearsts?
The last pic is showing below normal shear across the MDR
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
Quoting muddertracker:


Is someone trying to convince fellow bloggers to come to their house and check out their "weather tools?" LOL! WordPress is down, too.....just a thought.


When the site was down this morning I checked with one of the Security Blogs I follow and found a Blog about an on going attack on Word Press sites.

Word Press Attack
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5999
What's it showing Gearsts?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gearsts:
MDR is actually forecast to warm for the next 2 weeks as the high over the atlantic moves north decreasing the trade winds.


Wow, what a dipole.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PedleyCA:
Little Wing
"The Wind Cries Mary"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Anything on Levi's twitter about the ECMWF MSLP April forecast?
Nothing.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
Quoting Chucktown:
Wow, big Joe and Ryan Maue Twitter feeds are on an anti-AGW rampage today

Link

Link

Don't shoot the messenger...just sayin !!


I am not the brightest crayon in the box, but if someone clearly states they are "pro global warming" I doubt they would go on an a rampage against the subject. Again, just sayin...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:
lots of rain on tap according to the CMC for the south







that would be dangerous.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
if only we had cape

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gearsts:


Anything on Levi's twitter about the ECMWF MSLP April forecast?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Blog is having some issues today.


Is someone trying to convince fellow bloggers to come to their house and check out their "weather tools?" LOL! WordPress is down, too.....just a thought.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Little Wing
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5999
Quoting Chucktown:
Wow, big Joe and Ryan Maue Twitter feeds are on an anti-AGW rampage today

Link

Link

Don't shoot the messenger...just sayin !!

Same nonsense, different day. They just get more apparent credibility for it now because it felt cooler outside to them lately.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PedleyCA:


Thank You for using your paddles...... lol


LOL .... Good one Ped :P

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6949
Quoting VR46L:
Stand Clear !

Blog resuscitation commencing !


Thank You for using your paddles...... lol
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5999
Quoting PedleyCA:
I couldn't get back on here for about half an hour. I know that there is an on going attack on sites that use WordPress. Wonder if this is caused by that?
Never did clear here yesterday and it looks like more of the same for today.
Peeked outside and saw the Sun through a break in the clouds. They are moving at a good clip. Forecast for today is 63 and 50% chance of rain.

Ped.We all had the same problem...Let's get it on, oh baby
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the new blog Doc,
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5999
I couldn't get back on here for about half an hour. I know that there is an on going attack on sites that use WordPress. Wonder if this is caused by that?
Never did clear here yesterday and it looks like more of the same for today.
Peeked outside and saw the Sun through a break in the clouds. They are moving at a good clip. Forecast for today is 63 and 50% chance of rain.

Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5999
Well you can tell by the way I use my walk
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
lots of rain on tap according to the CMC for the south





Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15997
Quoting LargoFl:
hardly anything on radar right now..........
Yep....Pretty quiet afternoon in Florida Largo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Look at that wild swing up and down.

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
hardly anything on radar right now..........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741
Quoting Gearsts:
MDR is actually forecast to warm for the next 2 weeks as the high over the atlantic moves north decreasing the trade winds.


Look at that wild swing up and down.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14545
LOL I had thought we were all banned LOL...well anyway..sunny and HOT here today,hopefully the afternoon sea breeze will kick in and give us a shower later on.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40741
Stand Clear !

Blog resuscitation commencing !
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6949
Its 95 degrees and i love it feels nice to 104 that we had a couple of days back
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherh98:


Well there goes the warm MDR
MDR is actually forecast to warm for the next 2 weeks as the high over the atlantic moves north decreasing the trade winds.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1942
Before I go to bed. I thought I would repost this from the last blog since it finished not long after I posted it there.

My new Video. Enjoy, like and share.



Goodnight all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NAM is looking very bullish for severe weather in the Texas section of the warm sector for Wednesday. The 12Z run has what appears to be a right-moving supercell/pack of supercells developing along the Red River and tracking SE along I-45 that afternoon/evening.



Now, with the event still a couple of days out, specifics like this don't hold much weight. This however, does.



Notice the lower 700 mb temps over northern Texas. Those lower temps coupled with the present theta ridge indicates an atmosphere ripe for storm development and with little capping.



Gut says it's probably too bullish.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
broken once again... Im out..
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Blog is having some issues today.
We will survive.......Ah,Ah,Ah,Ah, Stayin' alive
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chucktown:
Wow, big Joe and Ryan Maue Twitter feeds are on an anti-AGW rampage today

Link

Link

Don't shoot the messenger...just sayin !!


You Know they will
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6949
Blog is having some issues today.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 3754
sort of topical..



Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 108 - 58

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
56 °F
Overcast