Record snowstorm dumps on Northern Plains as winter refuses to exit

An unrelenting series of snowstorms continues to batter the Rockies and northern Plains in the never-ending winter of 2012-13.


Webcam shows scene on I-94 W near Bismarck, North Dakota, Monday morning.

Bismarck, North Dakota had its snowiest day on record (in any month) Sunday when 17.3 inches buried the city.  It has received 21.2 inches for the month – the most in April on record, and it continues to snow this morning. The departing storm produced a wide swath of 15-20 inch snows in the central and western part of the state.  Interstate I-94 was shutdown from Fargo (which received 10.8 inches) to the Montana state line (hat tip: Updraft weather blog of Minnesota Public Radio)

Satellite image shows large swirl of a storm in Upper Midwest and Northern Plains (NASA)
Satellite image shows large swirl of a storm in Upper Midwest and Northern Plains (NASA)

Farther east, Duluth received 4 inches Sunday, with several more inches expected today.  The city has received 68.8 inches of snow since February 1, making for the snowiest February to April period on record (hat tip: Updraft weather blog)

Amazingly, 93.5 percent of the Upper Midwest has snow cover as of today compared to just 0.5 percent last year. And yet another fresh covering of snow may arrive in the middle of this week.

Snow cover in Upper Midwest: 2013 (top) vs. 2012 (bottom)
Snow cover in Upper Midwest: 2013 (top) vs. 2012 (bottom)
GFS model simulates heavy snowfall in the eastern Rockies and northern Plains over the next several days (WeatherBell.com)
GFS model simulates heavy snowfall in the eastern Rockies and northern Plains over the next several days (WeatherBell.com)

A storm is forecast to develop in the Rockies today into tomorrow.  Denver, which received almost 7 inches of snow a week ago,  is expecting another 4-8 inches through Tuesday night. This storm will pull into the Plains tomorrow and Wednesday with snow in the north and severe storms in the south.  The heaviest snow is likely to occur somewhat south of Sunday’s storm, from western Nebraska through South Dakota and eventually into central and northern Minnesota.

Ever since the Groundhog forecast spring was around the corner in early February, all kinds of snow records have fallen from the Southern Plains to the Northeast.  The Weather Channel’s Eric Fisher compiled this partial list of impressive records:


(Eric Fisher)

 

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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Washington, D.C., Snow Tracker

Current Snow Total
13.4"
Record Most Snow
(2009-10)
56.1"
Record Least Snow
(1997-98, 1972-73)
0.1"
Last Winter's Snow Total
32.0"
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Jason Samenow · April 15, 2013