4/6/15: Cool and Wet

Yesterday a narrow, but intense band of snow developed just north of I-94 from Bismarck to Dickinson, then moved north.  Some locations just west and north of Minot recorded around 6 inches of snow.  Those higher totals were mostly in Renville into Bottineau Counties with much lighter amounts measured elsewhere.

Radar Image from 2:30 PM CDT Sunday, April 5, 2015
Radar Image from 2:30 PM CDT Sunday, April 5, 2015

 

The radar image above is from Sunday afternoon that shows how intense the snowfall was at times during the day, especially north and northwest of Minot.

The snow that fell yesterday looks to be one of several precipitation events in the next 10 days. The next wave of moisture may arrive as soon as this afternoon in western North Dakota, but the more widespread rain and snow will arrive later tonight into Tuesday.

Projected Radar for Monday, April 6, 2015
Projected Radar for Monday, April 6, 2015

By mid-morning on Tuesday, widespread light rain and snow is expected to be moving across the state.  Total liquid equivalency of this moisture appears to be in the 0.25 inch or less category for most locations.  Of course that will come in the form of snow in many backyards.

10:00 AM CDT Projected Radar for the Northern Plains.
10:00 AM CDT Projected Radar for the Northern Plains.

 

Yet another threat of rain or snow will come on Wednesday into Wednesday night as a strong area of low pressure moves into the central plains.  That storm should triggered severe weather on both Wednesday and Thursday.  North Dakota will be well north of any thunderstorm threat, plus be cold enough for snow, especially in the northern portions of the state.

 

 

 

 

Thursday 1:00 AM Projected Surface Map and precipitation type
Thursday 1:00 AM Projected Surface Map and precipitation type

The projected area of severe weather on Wednesday per current thinking by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is presented below.

Day 3 Severe Weather Outlook (SPC)
Day 3 Severe Weather Outlook (SPC)

The rain and/or snow from Wednesday into Wednesday Night is expected to also produce general 0.25 inch or less liquid equivalency for most locations.  That moisture is expected to move out early on Thursday leaving the state dry Thursday through Saturday.  After below average temperatures through Thursday a warm up is projected for Friday into Saturday with Saturday having 60s potential for maximum temperatures.  A cold front is projected to move across North Dakota on Sunday leaving the western part of the state in a cooler air mass that day, but eastern North Dakota may still get into the 60s on Sunday as well depending on the timing of the front.  That front should trigger off at least some scattered precipitation that will linger into Monday.

The graphic below is from the Global Forecast System which is likely over done on the intensity of the low, but still some rain is foreseen during the later Sunday into Monday time frame.

Monday, April 13, 7:00 AM 12 hour precipitation and Surface projection
Monday, April 13, 7:00 AM 12 hour precipitation and Surface projection

Beyond a week, another storm system seems to be in the offering for around  April 15-16 time frame.  At the moment, none of these storms look to be bringing significant moisture to North Dakota, but each small event will add up and some localized 1 inch amounts may occur in the next 10 days, but a higher percentage of the state look to be staying under 0.50 inches through the middle of April.

It will be along and south of Interstate 90 from southeastern South Dakota, through southern Minnesota, much of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, the traditional corn belt that should see a more widespread 1 to 2 inch rains during this time frame which will in turn hold up early field work in for many in those state.

With abundance of cloud cover and several light precipitation events, the next 10 days overall will be below average for temperatures, but this weekend does look like a another brief taste of spring.

Daryl Ritchison