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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.

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Heavy Lake Effect Snow In Buffalo, NY

February 2, 2013 2 comments

An intense band of lake effect snow moved into Buffalo early this morning and dropped 6-10″ in a few hours around the airport before moving further north into Niagara County.

Heavy snow fell for much of the day between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Areas such as Grand Island, North Tonawanda, Sanborn, and South Lockport received the brunt of this storm.

From 7:30pm to 8:15pm, Grand Island received 4.0″ of snow. That’s not a typo, 4 inches in 45 minutes.

Here are snow totals reported so far for this storm;

Erie County

Grand Island – 14.6″

Kenmore – 13.7″

North Park – 12.0″

Riverside – 11.2″

Williamsville – 10.3″

Elmwood Village – 9.9″

Depew – 9.5″

Lancaster – 9.4″

Harris Hill – 9.2″

Buffalo Niagara International Airport – 9.1″

Tonawanda – 8.5″

Clarence – 8.0″

Alden – 8.0″

Akron – 5.5″

West Seneca – 4.0″

Hamburg – 3.3″

Niagara County

Sanborn – 13.0″

North Tonawanda – 10.0″

Niagara Falls Airport – 8.7″

South Lockport – 8.0″

Pendleton – 7.7″

Lockport – 6.8″

Cambria – 5.5″

Youngstown – 3.5″

I will update storm totals as they come in.

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Pictures below were taken on Grand Island.

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Lake Effect Snow

Lake Effect Snow Clobbers Western New York, Buffalo Next

February 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Later tonight a single band of lake effect snow will strengthen and move into the Buffalo Metropolitan area. A Lake Effect Snow Warning has been issued for Northern Erie County. 6-12″ of snow may fall by Saturday evening near the airport and areas further north.

A lake effect snow storm has produced more than 2 feet of snow in areas of Western New York.

Locations south of Buffalo in ski country have recorded impressive totals in the last 36 hours.

Here are the latest storm totals courtesy of the Buffalo National Weather Service and snow spotter network;

Chautauqua County

Ashville – 10.0″

Jamestown – 8.0″

Ripley – 4.9″

Dunkirk – 4.0″

Cattaraugus County

Delevan – 28.0″

Perrysburg – 24.0″

Freedom – 17.0″

West Valley – 12.0″

Franklinville – 8.5″

Erie County

Springville – 20.0″

Sardinia – 19.0″

Glenwood – 10.0″

Wyoming County

Arcade – 21.0″

Warsaw – 10.5″

Updated Lake Effect Snow Totals For New York State

January 23, 2013 1 comment

A lake effect snow event has continued over parts of Western and Central New York since January 20, 2013. Snow bands off of Lakes Erie and Ontario have produced significant accumulations in localized areas.

Listed below is the most recent reported storm totals for counties in New York State as of Wednesday, January 23, 2013:

Cattaraugus County

Perrysburg – 24.0″

West Valley – 13.5″

Little Valley – 10.5″

Franklinville – 10.0″

Cayuga County

Sterling – 31.0″

Fair Haven – 30.0″

Chautauqua County

Ripley – 26.8″

Sinclairville – 18.0″

Kennedy – 9.9″

Dunkirk – 6.8″

Erie County

Glenwood – 15.0″

Collins – 14.0″

Colden – 14.0″

Boston – 12.5″

Hamburg – 8.7″

Blasdell – 7.8″

Wales – 7.0″

Lewis County

Osceola – 19.0″

Highmarket – 10.7″

Monroe County

Hamlin Beach – 11.0″

Hilton – 8.0″

Parma Center – 7.0″

Niagara County

Newfane – 10.0″

Barker – 8.0″

Orleans County

Carlton – 7.0″

Oswego County

Fulton – 38.0″

Palermo – 36.5″

Bowen Corners – 34.0″

Bennetts Bridge – 33.0″

Pulaski – 30.7″

Minetto – 25.9″

Lacona – 24.7″

Wayne County

Sodus – 12.0″

Sodus Point – 8.0″

Wyoming County

Warsaw – 11.7″

Silver Springs – 8.0″

New York State Lake Effect Snow

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

There have been significant snowfall totals for areas downwind of Lakes Erie and Ontario since Sunday, January 20. An arctic air mass has brought very cold temperatures to the Great Lakes region.

This has ignited lake effect snow for areas favored by west to northwest winds.

Since late Sunday Ripley, NY has received more than 2 feet of snow. As of 7am this morning, January 22, they have officially measured 24.8″. With snow still falling through this afternoon and more expected tonight and tomorrow, storm totals may exceed 3 feet for this town in Chautauqua County near the New York, Pennsylvania state line.

Off of Lake Ontario, significant snowfall amounts have also been reported. As of 8am today, Bennetts Bridge in Oswego County has checked in with 32.0″ of new snowfall. Totals of more than 2 feet are common throughout much of Oswego County.

This lake effect snow event will continue for these areas at least another 36 hours.

Below is a list of snowfall totals as of the morning hours of January 22, 2013:

Cattaraugus County

Perrysburg – 13.0″

Little Valley – 10.5″

West Valley – 8.0″

Franklinville – 8.0″

Cayuga County

Fair Haven – 18.0″

Chautauqua County

Ripley – 24.8″

Sinclairville – 12.0″

Kennedy – 6.9″

Dunkirk – 6.4″

Erie County

Collins – 12.0″

Glenwood – 11.5″

Colden – 11.2″

Boston – 10.5″

Hamburg – 8.2″

Blasdell – 7.8″

Wales – 4.0″

Lewis County

Osceola – 15.0″

Highmarket – 6.8″

Oswego County

Bennetts Bridge – 32.0″

Fulton – 21.0″

Palermo – 19.7″

Pulaski – 19.0″

Minetto – 15.4″

Lacona – 13.0″

Wyoming County

Warsaw – 8.0″

Silver Springs – 6.0″

These reports are from the Buffalo, NY National Weather Service website.

The band of lake effect snow over Lake Ontario has been brushing the lakeshore of Niagara and Orleans Counties throughout the day. This snow band will move inland into northern and central Niagara and Orleans Counties tonight. There is the potential for 6-12 inches of snow by Wednesday morning, January 23.