Quite an impressive shot of cold and snow for early May in a large swath of the heartland! An indication as to the extent of the current cold wave encompassing the mid-section of the country can be summed up as follows: temperatures last hour were near 50 degrees in Dallas, Texas where the normal high is now 80 degrees, and at the same time it was snowing heavily in Minnesota and Wisconsin with more than a foot already on the ground up there. Single-day record May snowfalls have fallen today in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Omaha, NE, Mason City, IA, and Rochester, MN, are but a few of several cities that have been clobbered by their biggest May snowfall on record in parts of the country where records go back to the 1800s. Elsewhere, Hayward, Wisconsin received 15 inches of snow which was the most ever in the entire state during the month of May. Additionally, it’s snowing now in Topeka, Kansas – last time for a May snowfall there was 106 years ago.
On Tuesday, Colorado and Wyoming were slammed with heavy snow with some impressive results: 19 inches at Estes Park, CO, 16 inches in Fort Collins, CO, 12 inches in Boulder, CO, 15 inches in Cheyenne, WY and 12 inches in Lander, WY. The highest snow accumulation amount for Colorado was 28 inches at Buckhorn Mountain. Denver dropped to a record low of 19 degrees this morning (5 inches of snow there) and Laramie had its coldest May temperature ever (7 degrees).
At the two-thirds mark for meteorological spring (Mar-May), 2013 was the second coldest spring on record – slightly warmer than 1975. There is a chance to end up with the coldest spring ever for the US, however, as there is more chill on the way for this spring and May 1975 was actually unusually warm. Stay tuned.