April Snowstorms put dent in High Plains Drought
April has been an amazing month of heavy snow producing snow storms across the Rockies and adjacent plains as well as the Upper Midwest. Snowfall totals have been nothing short of amazing in many areas along temperatures that are trending to be the coldest in at least the last fifteen to perhaps thirty years in many locations of the northern, central and western High Plains region. See surface temperature anomaly compared to average for the first twenty days of April 2013.
Below is a list of some the impressive snowfall totals from April 1 to April 21, 2013 compared to average snowfall from April 1 to April 21.
Rapid City, SD 43.4” (normal 6.3”)
Cheyenne, WY 28.9” (normal 8.0”)
Casper, WY 35.1” (normal 8.7”)
Lander, WY 34.1” (normal 12.2”)
Denver, CO 15.7” (normal 5.0”)
Scottsbluff, NE 21.8” (normal 4.4”)
Bismarck, ND 21.5” (normal 3.5”)
Duluth, MN 42.0” (normal 5.7”)
St. Paul, MN 14.1” (normal 2.0”)
The heavy April snows have been a godsend for the parched High Plains of western South Dakota, western Nebraska and many areas of eastern Wyoming and eastern Colorado. Snow packs in Wyoming and Colorado have seen big gains in the past three weeks helping ease stream flow concerns some in the west.
On the flip side, however, heavy snows and heavy rains combined with some impressive late season snow packs are leading to some flooding concerns across the Upper Midwest and many areas of the Corn Belt. The two week outlook is forecasting even more rain in the Corn Belt and Midwest. There is even some hope for rain in the southern plains and southern Rockies.
Many areas of the Central Plains are still in a long term drought, however, in the past three weeks many areas have left the EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT category, however, those areas remain in the EXTREME DROUGHT category.
The week ahead will continue to bring colder than normal temperatures and late season snow to many cattlemen across the northern Plains and Great Lakes. May should start off warmer for many as the cold April weather pattern may finally break as we head into the first week of May.