Howling winds accompanied the snow, gusting up to 70 mph. The storm dropped visibility to near zero and resulted in power outages and snowdrifts as high as 8 feet.
Heavy snow reached as far south as the Texas Panhandle and as far north as central Nebraska.
In the storm’s wake, satellite imagery revealed an unmistakable swath of snowfall across the region:
It is not uncommon for powerful late-spring storms to produce snow in the High Plains as cold air rushes south on their western and northern periphery. But the reported amounts from Sunday’s storm appear to rival if not exceed record snow totals at this time of year, according to Weather Underground.
“Even the modest 2.5 inches officially reported Sunday at Dodge City itself marked the first time a spring snowfall has exceeded 1 [inch] in Dodge City on any calendar day after April 15. Records began at Dodge City in 1893,” Weather Underground meteorologist Bob Henson wrote.
Satellite animations of the storm in action revealed a massive swirl near the Oklahoma-Kansas border. The snow fell on the storm’s northern and western flanks, where cold air surged southward while the storm tapped into a rich plume of moisture originating from the Gulf of Mexico.
In the storm’s warm sector south and east of its center, this moisture fed into a sprawling complex of thunderstorms that caused extensive flooding in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. Some rivers crested or will crest at record high levels.
Rainfall totals were as high as 8 to 11 inches.
In east Texas, a violent thunderstorm on the storm’s south side spawned a large, long-track tornado in Canton that killed at least four people.
Below are photos and video of the extreme snowfall in the storm’s cold sector.