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Late April Snowstorm in the Midwest?

Well, well... Just when you thought it was over, it comes back to bite you. I was really happy with our string of 70F temps (even hit 81F a few days ago)... This all came crashing down yesterday, when conditions went from a southerly breeze with 72F, to a northeasterly wind and temps dipping into the mid 40's by mid afternoon :shock:

Certainly is a good thing that I got out an enjoyed it, because this next system looks like it will be cold, and quite possibly snowy. GFS has been real consistant in showing a rapidly deepening low near Cleveland, with 24hr 850mb pressure falls of 90m, and a 36hr pressure fall of 120m. 850mb temps also tank down to near -10C, with SFC temps remaining in the low 30's. The low also appears to retrograde as it deepens, with some pretty strong lift. QPF is high, but snow ratios will be very low, and most of it will likely melt on contact with the ground. This is the time of year to watch for things like heavy snow bursts with lightning...

It certainly would be weird to get snow when the leaves are pretty much out on the trees... And I fear that even a little bit of heavy wet snow could bring down branches and crush small bushes - even if we only get 2-4 inches (HPC has a low risk for 12 or more inches). It has been almost 80 years since Detroit has seen +6 inches of snow beyond April 17th. Good thing is, it won't last long, and it will do wonders to help our drought situation (local rivers are well below normal).
 
Well...

Sitting here with a winter storm watch in effect, which is unbelievable considering it's late April, and the fact that temps were in the upper 70's and low 80's just a few days prior.

I am actually happy about the prospects of a late season snowfall for a few reasons (who would have guessed?! LOL)...

1) Good photo opp given the leaves on the trees combined with a very heavy and wet snowfall.
2) It will be gone in a matter of days, and back to t-shirts...
3) It's a very rare and historical event, the last time we had significant snow (over 6 inches) beyond April 19 was in the early 1900's.

Anyway, this system looks very intense... Very strong lift, very strong dynamic cooling, and to top it off, the system will be moving slow and retrograding. The latest NAM still keeps QPF near 2 inches around my area, with the 18Z GFS in the same ballpark, with the NGM around 1.5 inches. Winds really pick up as well, 25-30MPH with gusts to 40MPH. This actually looks like the best setup I have seen in quite some time for the MI area, and it's APRIL! I wouldn't totally discount those QPF amounts either, as this system is working with Gulf moisture AND tapping the Atlantic via a very intense TROWAL... Low level frontogenesis is very strong and stability is low as well - so thundersnow is quite likely between Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon...

My current guess is that snow ratios would tend to be around 10 to 1 or 8 to 1... The atmosphere will be quite cold aloft, but the SFC will be above freezing and the ground temperatures are still in the mid 40's... Never the less, heavy rates of snow can overcome that. Also, with snow this heavy, tree damage is probably, as well as power outages...Factor in the wind, and it only complicates things.

I still have one storm that is in the back of my mind, and that's April 6 1886, where just over two feet fell on Detroit. The snow was so heavy that people had to use CROWBARS to create pathways, and it actually stopped trains from moving...
 
Originally posted by Aric Cylkowski
I shouldn't of returned that snow blower yesterday.

I'm gonna let the snow sit :p.

WOW, another Michigander?! We're owning this board!

Just checked the 00Z snow algorithm, and it's showing close to 18 inches in SE MI. Just to throw out this caution...It's using a standard 10 to 1 ratio I believe.
 
Originally posted by rdewey+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(rdewey)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Aric Cylkowski
I shouldn't of returned that snow blower yesterday.

I'm gonna let the snow sit :p.

WOW, another Michigander?! We're owning this board!

Just checked the 00Z snow algorithm, and it's showing close to 18 inches in SE MI. Just to throw out this caution...It's using a standard 10 to 1 ratio I believe.[/b]

Thats what you think...Illinois chasers have had these plains folks owned for too long.

Anyway...enjoy that snow. They mentioned a chance for mixed precip here tomorrow..but temps should be just warm enough for it to remain light rain. Stupid changing weather...we just had 6 straight 80F+ days. Now...its in the 30s.
 
Originally posted by rdewey
2) It will be gone in a matter of days, and back to t-shirts...

That's pretty much why I'm not worried about this whole SNOW IN APRIL thing, and the fact that I'm leaving for the Plains in a few days, LOL! I guess the whole photo-op thing with this is the truth, and maybe we'll even be able to see some lightning activity with this stuff....

..Nick..
 
Originally posted by APritchard
I've gotta ask how you're getting out to the plains. Dont you have class or something next week?

Homeschooled... And just graduated from 11th grade...

..Nick..
 
I was home-schooled from 6th to 9th grades. Saw my first tornado by the end of my 11th grade (way too close for comfort).

I'm just going to let the snow sit and melt, I couldn't be arsed to dig out this late in the season, and yes, we Michiganders have a habit of owning boards.
 
I just know that if we get more than 6 inches of heavy wet snow, I'm stuck - Especially if the city plows aren't prepared (I stopped by the City of Rochester, and their salt piles were gone, and I don't mean in the back of the trucks) :shock:

My car sits about 8 inches off the ground, and is rear wheel drive at 300HP. It handles powder snow pretty well though...
 
Looking at the NAM, it looks like the freezing level will get close to ground level and we'll start looking at more and more snow in the precipitation by 11am EDT. Overall, the amount of precipitable moisture in the air will vary from the upper .40 inches to the mid .50 inches.

I'll see about getting some pictures of snowfall amounts in the Holly area, I'm down there working on my car today and tomorrow.
 
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