Historic May Storm Slams Minnesota/Iowa

Posted at: 05/02/2013 7:07 PM
Updated at: 05/28/2013 12:49 PM

Wow!  Where to start?

I suppose it will be with the admission I was off on expected snowfall totals, and by significant amounts.  However, I was absolutely right with the call of breaking, shattering, obliterating snowfall amounts.  The updated call at last night's 10pm show was for 2-8" of snow.  Here's what we ended up with.  Many places 10 inches or better.  Most... 18" in Blooming Prairie.

These are amounts that are impressive with any storm system let alone one on May 2nd.

Officially for Rochester, that number came in at 13.5", obliterating not only the all-time 1-Day Snowfall record for May (1.2" - May 5, 1944) and every other May snowfall record...

But topping out at  #6 on the all-time one day snowfall totals ever experienced since records began back in 1886.

And now, for the 2012-13 Winter season, we are up to 73.0" of snowfall, the most since 1996/97 which tops the list at 84.7".  And with a little left falling tonight it is conceivable that we reach the Top 3.


So what happened?  Why so much.  A stalled out storm system is to blame.  A frontal boundary stretched up our way was the focus of a narrow band but potent band of precipitation.  Temperatures cooled off sufficiently last night to chance everything to snow.  At the same time we were efficiently pumping in moisture from the south over the frontal boundary.  This lead to an explosion in snow intensity, at times reaching 2" per hour rates!  Despite the talk of warm surroundings keeping snow totals lower, there's not much that can stop that intense of snowfall.

The higher amounts of this wet, soggy snow are carrying nearly 2" of liquid inside of it.  Enough to turn the snow a shade of blue!  The weight of the snow was enough to snap numerous tree branches, cause power outages for thousands and even enough to take down a few buildings and structures as well.  Take a look at all of the pictures sent in by the viewers!

This historic event will never be forgotten, much like the Halloween Ice Storm of 1991 or the Armistice Day Blizzard in 1940.  What we just went through was something that was inconceivable based on historic records.  But records are made to be broken.  And we shattered them.

And to close.  I'm glad there are a lot of people can still find some humor in this depressing winter pattern we are in. :)