Posts Tagged ‘Cold’

Historic Storms Slam Northern Plains

April 16, 2013 1 comment

A series of significant spring storm systems have left their mark across parts of the Great Plains States through the first two weeks of April.

This is the time of year when we expect these types of storms, especially severe weather and tornadoes, but this has not been the case. Heavy snow and mid-winter like weather conditions have been the headlines as we close in on the first month of spring.

Let’s start on April 9 when a low pressure system exited the Rockies and moved across the central plains. Incredible amounts of snow fell across western South Dakota and especially in the Black Hills. At the Rapid City Regional Airport, the greatest ever recorded single snowstorm total was observed with 28.2″ falling by April 10. Downtown Rapid City recorded their second greatest total ever measured, although records date back far longer than they do at the airport. My favorite towns in the Black Hills, Deadwood and Lead, came in with 30″ and 26.4″, respectively.

Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the south, North Dakota was in the crosshairs for the next system beginning on the 13th. An incredible amount of all-time records were observed in Bismarck, which go all the way back to 1875. First, a daily record for snowfall on April 14 was set with 17.3″ falling in 24 hours. This also broke the record for snowfall on any single calendar day of the year, besting the 15.5″ that fell on March 3, 1966. Also a new record for snowfall in the month of April, with 21.5″ as of the 15th, has been set breaking the previous record of 18.7″ from 1984.

Winter storm warnings are currently in place across the Rocky Mountains north of Denver, southeast Wyoming, and extending into northwest Nebraska and southwest South Dakota. A blizzard watch has also been issued across the plains of Colorado east of Denver. This storm doesn’t look like it will bring record snowfall like the previous two storms, but totals of 6 to 12 inches are likely for many areas.

To go along with these systems, cold air has been entrenched across the northern plains states since March. Much of the Dakotas and northwest Minnesota have seen temperatures greater than 10 degrees below average for March and midway through the month of April.

Fargo, ND has yet to reach 50 degrees in 2013. The latest date they have ever recorded to reach 50 is April 17. This will surely be broken and could go for at least another 8 to 10 days.

The below average temperatures have created a very serious problem for communities stretching along the Red River, including Fargo. The snowpack has yet to melt over North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Because of this, it looks like a top-five record crest of the Red River is likely in Fargo. When warmer temperatures do arrive, flooding will certainly be a major concern. The snow-water equivalent of the snowpack ranges from 4 to 8 inches for a large portion across these areas. It looks as though a spring flood on the magnitude of the 1997 and 2009 record floods are in store.

Residents here are no strangers to floods, though. In just 7 days, one million sandbags were filled in Fargo. There has been much attention paid to the threat of significant flooding this year, and preparations will be ongoing until it comes.


Buffalo, NY Weather Forecast: Thursday, January 17

January 16, 2013 Leave a comment

A breezy start to the morning followed by falling temperatures during the afternoon is in store for Buffalo and Western New York Thursday, January 17, 2013.

The predawn hours will feature strong west-southwest winds at 20 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. The temperature will be fairly steady around 32°F. Skies will be overcast with scattered flurries.

Wind speeds will decrease by 7am to 10 mph with gusts to 20 mph and will quickly shift to the northwest after a cold front makes its way through the region. The temperature at this time will be 31°F.

After 7am temperatures will begin to fall into the 20’s.

By 12pm Buffalo and Niagara Falls will have a temperature of 25°F. Skies will be mostly cloudy and winds will be from the northwest around 10 mph.

At 5pm our temperature will have fallen to 23°F with considerable clouds and a northwest wind 5-10 mph.

The rest of the evening will feature variable clouds and winds from the northwest at 5-10 mph. The temperature will be 21°F at 10pm.

How Warm Will Buffalo, NY Get This Weekend?

January 11, 2013 1 comment

It’s shaping up to be an extremely mild weekend for Buffalo and the Western New York area.

The high temperatures on both Saturday, January 12, and Sunday, January 13, will surely top 50°F and may even approach 60°F. This is nearly 30°F above the average high for this time of year, but is not unheard of.

There is almost always a winter “thaw” in WNY and this usually occurs sometime in January.

While it is a nice respite for WNYer’s, melting snow and ice can cause ice jams in creeks or streams that lead to localized flooding along their banks. Drains clogged by debris can also back up, partially flooding area streets and sidewalks.

Local ski resorts also take a hit, especially if their base snow depth is below average.

Temperatures will begin to fall Sunday night back towards the freezing mark and should remain there through next week.

There is also a chance for below average temperatures to invade WNY, and the rest of the country, by January 20.

A very cold air mass is expected to drop south into the country from Canada by the end of next week and bring well below average temperatures for much of the continental United States. This period of colder than normal temperatures may persist through the end of January and into February.

Buffalo, NY Weather Forecast: Sunday, January 6 2013

January 5, 2013 1 comment
Sunday, January 6

2am – Light snow showers may bring a dusting of snow to the region before sunrise. A southwest wind of 10 mph will continue through the predawn hours. Temperature of 31°F.

7am – Southwest winds will be increasing to 15 mph with gusts of 25 mph possible. Temperatures will be right around 32°F. Skies will be cloudy with scattered flurries.

12pm – A breezy wind from the southwest around 20 mph at times will persist into the afternoon hours. Temperatures should make it above freezing to 36°F. Overcast skies and isolated flurries or sprinkles are possible.

2pm – A cold front will cross Western New York at this time. There will be a change in wind direction to the west then northwest at 15 mph, falling temperatures, and light snow showers for late afternoon into evening.

5pm – The cold front will have passed through the region by this time. Our temperature will be 30°F with light snow falling. Winds will have veered to the west between 10-15 mph. Minor accumulations of snow up to 1″ are possible, mainly south and east of Buffalo.

10pm – Temperatures will be near 28°F and winds will be from the northwest at 10 mph. There may still be a flurry or light snow shower in the area, especially south of Buffalo. Overnight minimum temperatures will range from 24°F on the lake plain to the upper teens in areas further away from the lakes.

Watch for slick spots on roadways from early evening through overnight.