Winter Storm Walda Leaves Trail of Snowfall, Broken Records

April 12, 2013

With the worst of Winter Storm Walda finally subsiding, several states are left waiting for temperatures to warm up and the snow melt to begin.

The storm has broken records as it slammed the Rockies, Plains and Midwest, dumping more than two feet of snow in some parts while spawning tornadoes in warmer states. In all, three deaths have been reported from the cumulative effects of the storm.

(MORE: 10 Strange Aspects of Walda | Is April Snow Unusual?| Walda Storm Reports)

AP Photo/The St. Cloud Times, Dave Schwarz

Snow accumulates on a stop sign along 33rd Ave in St. Cloud, Minn., Thursday, April 11, 2013.

South Dakota

South Dakota saw some of the heaviest snow from Walda, with the town of Deadwood taking the highest accumulation total at 30 inches. At Rapid City Regional Airport, 28.2 inches of snow fell during the event, beating the previous record of 18 inches on April 22, 2001.

Snowfall records date further back for downtown Rapid City, and the 22.4 inches that fell in that area ranks No. 2 to a 32.1-inch event that occurred on April 12-15, 1927.

Twenty inches of snow fell in a 24-hour span on April 9 at the airport -- the largest single-day snowfall on record. On the same day, 15 inches of snow officially fell downtown, enough for a daily record and the third-highest single-day snowfall on record.

Tens of thousands of residents were without power in the state at the height of the storm, and highways were closed for hours as roads became extremely dangerous or impassible.

North Dakota

Up to 10 inches of snow fell in the state during Walda, with the highest totals occurring near the South Dakota border. Fargo received an additional 2.5 inches of snow, adding to a snowpack that has residents worried for the imminent snowmelt that could lead to serious floods.


Walda has piled on to the headaches of the southwest corner of Minnesota, where communities are still struggling to restore power following an ice storm earlier in the week. Officials say it may be early next week before electricity is restored to everyone.

Gov. Mark Dayton has declared a state of emergency after an April snowstorm struck southern Minnesota.

Dayton signed an emergency executive order Thursday. The order exempts trucks and drivers transporting supplies and materials to areas hit by the storm from state regulations regarding hours of service.

Drivers providing emergency relief efforts still need to follow other safety regulations.

Dayton earlier activated the state National Guard to help Minnesotans dealing with the storm.

An ice storm knocked out power to thousands of people in southwestern Minnesota this week. Up to 8 inches of wet snow fell on top of the thick layer of ice. Two locations in the state recorded more than a foot of snow from the storm -- Ortonville and Sawyer.


In the state's Upper Peninsula, snow continues to fall on Friday, but the impacts are expected to be minimal. There have been reports of more than a half-foot of snow in some parts of the state as of Friday morning, and a few more inches of snow before Walda dissipates aren't out of the question.


In the northern part of the state, the town of Poplar led Wisconsin's snowfall totals with nine inches from Walda by Friday morning. While it was little more than a nuisance snow for northern Wisconsin, icy conditions created problems for drivers in the central part of the state.

A mixture of rainfall and melting snow led to minor flooding in lakes and rivers in the southern portion of the state as well.


Denver International Airport saw hundreds of flights canceled at the height of the storm and highways east of the city were closed all the way to the border with Nebraska as Walda raged earlier in the week. The state's highest snowfall total was reported just east of Eldorado Springs, northwest of Denver, at 23.2 inches.


Exactly two feet of snow fell in the eastern Wyoming town of Douglas, the highest total recorded in the state from Walda. Road closures were the norm on Tuesday and Wednesday as the storm cranked up and blowing snow became a life-threatening issue.


Some of the worst conditions occurred in northwestern Nebraska, where two feet of snow with six- to seven-foot drifts were observed in the town of Harrison. Nearly a dozen cities reported snowfall totals of at least 10 inches, and one woman died near Berea when her car broke down. It was the only snow-related death from Walda -- the other two storm deaths were severe weather-related.

Eastern Nebraska experienced severe weather ahead of the storm as well. Large hail was reported in Omaha on Tuesday, leaving cars and roofs damaged. More damage was reported on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.


Ice was a major problem in the northwestern part of the state on Wednesday, as the town of Rock Valley reported nearly an inch of ice that brought many trees and tree branches crashing down.

To the northeast of Rock Valley, the town of Ocheyedan received Iowa's highest snowfall total from Walda -- 6.5 inches.

Sioux Falls, S.D.

Sioux Falls, S.D.

John Deters clears the driveway for his friend, Thursday, April 11, 2013, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Melissa Sue Gerrits)

  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Woodbury, Minn.
  • Fargo, N.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Appleton, Wisc.
  • Appleton, Wisc.
  • Appleton, Wisc.
  • Appleton, Wisc.
  • Lake Park, Iowa
  • Lake Park, Iowa
  • Lake Park, Iowa
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Pueblo, Colo.
  • Hutchinson, Kan.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Torrington, Wyo.
  • Monument, Colo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Redondo Beach, Calif.
  • Show Low, Ariz.
  • Lancaster, Calif.
  • Manhattan Beach, Calif.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Casper, Wyo.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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