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2:20 PM | *Powerful spring snowstorm on the way from the Rockies to the Northern Plains*

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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

2:20 PM | *Powerful spring snowstorm on the way from the Rockies to the Northern Plains*

Paul Dorian

A tremendous cold air outbreak will accompany the upcoming springtime blizzard from the Rockies to the Northern Plains; courtesy NOAA, tropicaltidbits.com

A tremendous cold air outbreak will accompany the upcoming springtime blizzard from the Rockies to the Northern Plains; courtesy NOAA, tropicaltidbits.com

Overview

A major storm will bring a variety of impacts to the Rockies, central and northern Plains from later tomorrow into Thursday that will include heavy snowfall, whiteout conditions, and winds as high as 60 mph.  The bullseye region for this springtime blizzard will likely extend from northeastern Colorado-to-central Minnesota and some spots in this corridor can see accumulations of 1-2 feet during this upcoming event.

The upcoming blizzard can bring 1-2 feet of heavy, wet snow to parts of the central and northern Plains; courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

The upcoming blizzard can bring 1-2 feet of heavy, wet snow to parts of the central and northern Plains; courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Details

Very mild temperatures exist today in in the Rockies and central Plains, but drastic changes are on the way.  In fact, a potentially historic April snowstorm is on the way for parts of the central and northern Plains from later tomorrow into Thursday. An upper-level trough of low pressure is working its way onshore today in the Pacific Northwest and it will intensify as it digs into the central Rockies by tomorrow.  Colder air will flood the middle part of the country as surface low pressure intensifies on Wednesday – aided by a powerful upper-level jet streak - and snow will become heavy over the northeastern part of Colorado and then spread into the central and northern Plains.

Powerful storm system by Thursday will generate wind gusts past 50 mph and this combined with heavy, wet snow can result in widespread power outages across the central and northern Plains; courtesy NOAA, tropicaltidbits.com

Powerful storm system by Thursday will generate wind gusts past 50 mph and this combined with heavy, wet snow can result in widespread power outages across the central and northern Plains; courtesy NOAA, tropicaltidbits.com

This unfolding storm system could become so intense - perhaps as low as 28.90 inches - that it could flirt with the all-time low pressure record for the month of April in parts of the Plains.  The heaviest snow axis will extend from around Denver on the southwest side to Minneapolis on the northeast side with several inches of snow expected in these two metro regions and 1-2 feet possible in between. Some of the areas that have suffered with flooding in recent weeks will likely see rainfall initially from this system before a changeover to heavy wet snow and this won’t help the overall situation.  The serious flooding in Nebraska during recent weeks was caused by a combination of excessive cold this winter, excessive snowfall, and grounds that remained frozen just below the surface level when the snow melting season got underway.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Perspecta, Inc.
perspectaweather.com