Strange May Weather: 15 Inches of Snow Falls in Minnesota & Across the Midwest While California Experiences Early Summer Heat Wave

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2318351/Freak-weather-historic-snow-Spring-snowstorm-spreads.html

Freak weather: Record snowfall in the Midwest with more than 15 inches in parts of Minnesota and near 90 degree temps in California along with raging wildfires 

  • Records broken, power out, roads blocked
  • May snow storm dumps more than 15 inches across Midwest
  • Minnesota’s Interstate had to be closed for several hours overnight
  • Many schools and colleges are closed and 15,000 residents without power
  • 2,000 miles away: record-breaking heat today and tomorrow in Northern California
  • Southern California under red flag warnings for fire danger due to heat, wind and low humidity

By JAMES DANIEL

PUBLISHED: 10:26 EST, 2 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:37 EST, 2 May 2013

The calendar may say May, but it still looks like winter in parts of the Midwest and Rockies where  residents are digging out from more than a foot of snow.

The National Weather Service says 15.5 inches total landed in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Schools are closed in many of Minnesota cities and even the states main Interstate was shut overnight because of downed power lines.

It could be the heaviest May snowfall in the states’ recorded history.

Yet, across the other side of the country, California is getting an early taste of summer with a blast of heat producing record-setting temperatures.

Scroll down for video…

Snow dropped: Tulips are topped with snow in Nebraska as a spring storm deposits more than 15 inches as it crosses the MidwestSnow dropped: Tulips are topped with snow in Nebraska as a spring storm deposits more than 15 inches as it crosses the Midwest
Raging: Smoke billows over along U.S. 101 near Thousand Oaks, California. Authorities have ordered evacuations of a neighborhood and a university about 50 miles west of Los Angeles where a wildfire spreadingRaging: Smoke billows over along U.S. 101 near Thousand Oaks, California. Authorities have ordered evacuations of a neighborhood and a university about 50 miles west of Los Angeles where a wildfire spreading
Wildfire: Firefighters battle a wildfire on Federal Indian Reservation land west of Banning, California, where the blaze consumed more than 1,500 acres and destroyed several homesWildfire: Firefighters battle a wildfire on Federal Indian Reservation land west of Banning, California, where the blaze consumed more than 1,500 acres and destroyed several homes
Fanning the flames: A firefighter works to protect homes from a fast-moving brush fire in Ventura County, CaliforniaFanning the flames: A firefighter works to protect homes from a fast-moving brush fire in Ventura County, California

In the mid-section of the country, the winter weather system is still packing a punch as it crosses the country with Iowa next in the firing line.

The storm is so large that even southern states including Alabama and Tennessee are likely to be hit with wet snow before the weekend.

Iced up: The wintry weather means many schools are closed today and the Interstate had to be closed overnight because of downed powerlinesIced up: The wintry weather means many schools are closed today and the Interstate had to be closed overnight because of downed powerlines
Winter returns: A strong storm system has pulled unseasonably cold air into the area creating a freakishly late winter stormWinter returns: A strong storm system has pulled unseasonably cold air into the area creating a freakishly late winter storm
Splash of colour: The winter storm has removed all traces of spring colour from this street in Colorado, save for this umbrellaSplash of colour: The winter storm has removed all traces of spring colour from this street in Colorado, save for this umbrella

Some students and schoolchildren in Minnesota and Wisconsin are enjoying an unseasonably late ‘snow day’ as the spring snow storm dumped more than 14 inches of snow in other parts of the state.

Bobbi Howe’s two daughters had to stay home in the southeastern Minnesota city of Owatonna, where 15.5 inches of snow made it hard for the family to open their front door.

More than 16 inches of snow fell on Ashland in far northwestern Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Patrol says that was a factor in a fatal crash between two semis on Interstate 94 near Menomonie.

Bi-polar: The middle of the country is shivering whilst the west is enduring record-breaking heat. The Northeast is enjoying perfect spring temperaturesBi-polar: The middle of the country is shivering whilst the west is enduring record-breaking heat. The Northeast is enjoying perfect spring temperatures
This is what it should be like: Perfect spring temperatures across the northeastern United States. These tulips are in BostonThis is what it should be like: Perfect spring temperatures across the northeastern United States. These tulips are in Boston
'Tis the season: Strawberries are ripe and ready for the picking in North Carolina where the state is enjoying perfect spring temperatures ‘Tis the season: Strawberries are ripe and ready for the picking in North Carolina where the state is enjoying perfect spring temperatures

Meanwhile, across the other side of the country, California is expected to get an early taste of summer today with a blast of heat that could produce some record-setting temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for parts of the Bay Area, including Santa Clara County and other inland areas, forecasting temperatures in some areas reaching the low 90s.

‘We’re going to get close in a lot of places,’ said Diana Henderson, a forecaster with the weather service. ‘Quite possible there could be one or two records broken today.’

Mountain View is expected to see a high of 90 today and in San Jose, a high of 89 is expected.

Early fire season: An airplane drops fire retardant as firefighters battle a wildfire west of Banning, California, where the blaze consumed more than 1,500 acres and destroyed several homes Early fire season: An airplane drops fire retardant as firefighters battle a wildfire west of Banning, California, where the blaze consumed more than 1,500 acres and destroyed several homes

Christine Riley, a meteorologist with the weather service’s San Francisco Bay Area station said high pressure building over the area in conjunction with warming offshore winds is responsible for the higher temperatures.

Daytime highs are expected to hover in the 80s and 90s inland, which for many cities will amount to a 20-degree jump from normal temperatures for this time of year, Riley said.

Forecasters expect two weeks of higher-than-average temperatures before the numbers settle down in the 60s and 70s.

‘These temperatures are well above normal, but we see this year to year,’ Riley said. ‘We’ll get a week or two of really warm temperatures, then it will normalize out.’

Smoke spreading: Traffic passes on U.S. 550 as smoke billows from a wildfire burning in the Sandia Mountains near Bernalillo, New MexicoSmoke spreading: Traffic passes on U.S. 550 as smoke billows from a wildfire burning in the Sandia Mountains near Bernalillo, New Mexico
Evacuation: Firefighters stand and watch as bulldozers clear a firebreak near a wildfire burning along a hillside near homes in Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaEvacuation: Firefighters stand and watch as bulldozers clear a firebreak near a wildfire burning along a hillside near homes in Thousand Oaks, California
Aerial assault: A plane drops fire retardant in the Banning Bench area of Riverside county. Six helicopters and six air tankers were also making water dropsAerial assault: A plane drops fire retardant in the Banning Bench area of Riverside county. Six helicopters and six air tankers were also making water drops
Smoke alarm: Much of Southern California was under red flag warnings for fire danger due to heat, wind and low humidity levelsSmoke alarm: Much of Southern California was under red flag warnings for fire danger due to heat, wind and low humidity levels

Near Los Angeles a fast-moving wildfire broke out in the largely undeveloped foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.

At least 425 firefighters were working to gain control of the fast-moving fire, which has destroyed one home and is 35 per cent contained, said Jody Hagemann, spokeswoman for the county fire department.

Six helicopters and six air tankers were making water drops.

Winds of 29mph were driving the fire and if they continued, the fire could reach communities in Cherry Valley and Beaumont.

Much of Southern California was under red flag warnings for fire danger due to heat, wind and low humidity levels.

In Northern California, firefighters were battling fires fueled by gusty winds in wine country north of San Francisco.

Smoked out: Authorities have ordered evacuations of a neighborhood and a university about 50 miles west of Los Angeles where a wildfire is raging close to homesSmoked out: Authorities have ordered evacuations of a neighborhood and a university about 50 miles west of Los Angeles where a wildfire is raging close to homes
Control:The blaze that broke out near Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, 50 miles west of Los Angeles, has spread to more than 6,500 acres, forcing nearby neighborhoods to be evacuatedControl:The blaze that broke out near Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, 50 miles west of Los Angeles, has spread to more than 6,500 acres, forcing nearby neighborhoods to be evacuated
A real mix: Much of the country is experience high pressure which usually brings good weather, but the low front is what's bringing the extreme wintry weather across the heartlandA real mix: Much of the country is experience high pressure which usually brings good weather, but the low front is what’s bringing the extreme wintry weather across the heartland

Back in the Midwest, the snow was just as heavy in parts of Wisconsin, with in the west of the state Baldwin reporting 14.7 inches.

More than 16 inches of snow fell on Ashland in far northwestern Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says that was a factor in a fatal crash between two semis on Interstate 94 near Menomonie.

Utility crews are scrambling to restore power to more than 15,000 Xcel Energy customers.

The heavy, wet spring snow has snapped tree branches, dropping them onto power lines.

The storm is still going strong today and could reach even more unlikely locations over the Plains, Midwest and the South before it’s all over.

Spring in his step: Austin Police's Sgt. Joe Milli clears heavy snow off his police cruiser this morningSpring in his step: Austin Police’s Sgt. Joe Milli clears heavy snow off his police cruiser this morning
Snowed-in: Winter has returned to Minnesota where residents are digging out of more than a foot of new snowSnowed-in: Winter has returned to Minnesota where residents are digging out of more than a foot of new snow
Record-breaking: Sioux Falls, South Dakota's largest city, got its first May snowfall in 37 years and its largest May amount since 1944. Record-breaking: Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city, got its first May snowfall in 37 years and its largest May amount since 1944.
Shovels at the ready: Kyle MccLelland, left, and Matthew Cannon, right, shovel snow outside Cannon's house in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne received more than a foot of snow Shovels at the ready: Kyle MccLelland, left, and Matthew Cannon, right, shovel snow outside Cannon’s house in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne received more than a foot of snow
Not your typical spring day: Emily Jeffer, left, and Marge Jeffers try to navigate snow in Lions Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming after more than a foot of snow fellNot your typical spring day: Emily Jeffer, left, and Marge Jeffers try to navigate snow in Lions Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming after more than a foot of snow fell

Omaha, Nebraska, Mason City, Iowa, and Rochester, Minnesota are just a few of the cities that have been whacked by the wintry weather and their biggest May snowfall on record.

In many cases in the major cities in the Plains, those records date back to the 1800s.

The National Weather Service is reporting 14 inches of snow in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, 15.5 inches of snow at Owatonna, Minnesota, 13 inches in Red Wing and 14.7 inches in Baldwin, Wisconsin.

The Twin Cities were supposed to be in the bulls-eye but escaped unscathed when the storm tracked farther east than forecast.

However, the eastern and southeastern suburbs did see some slushy accumulation ranging from 3 to 4 inches.

Spring interrupted: A man walks past a snow-covered bed of tulips in downtown Golden, Colorado Spring interrupted: A man walks past a snow-covered bed of tulips in downtown Golden, Colorado
Spring storm: Heavy snow continues to fall in the Midwest. The storm is expected to continue until the weekend with even some southern states seeing some flakesSpring storm: Heavy snow continues to fall in the Midwest. The storm is expected to continue until the weekend with even some southern states seeing some flakes
Slushy: Jennifer Duensing, treads carefully during her walk to work in Boulder, ColoradoSlushy: Jennifer Duensing, treads carefully during her walk to work in Boulder, Colorado
White spring: Record May snow has fallen in of the Rockies, Plains and Midwest. Temperatures that were in the 70's and 80's since last weekend are struggling to reach the 40s as the storm passes through White spring: Record May snow has fallen in of the Rockies, Plains and Midwest. Temperatures that were in the 70’s and 80’s since last weekend are struggling to reach the 40s as the storm passes through
Good job he's not white: Laura Rice plays in the snow with her dog, Tussin, at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, ColoradoGood job he’s not white: Laura Rice plays in the snow with her dog, Tussin, at Chautauqua Park in Boulder, Colorado

Although Minneapolis/St. Paul managed to avoid the heaviest snow, just 50 miles southeast of the Twin Cities received between 6 and 12 inches of snow last night.

That snow has been described as being like ‘heavy and wet, like concrete.’ As it was plastered onto trees, it caused many to topple.

As much as 14 inches fell in parts of southeastern Minnesota with Omaha, Nebraska picking up between 3 and 6 inches of snow.

In some cases the snow fell on locations that were in the 80s just a couple of days earlier, including Denver and Amarillo, Texas.

Wichita, Kansas, Kansas City, Missori and Des Moines, Iowa are next in line to  feel the storms fury.

As the storm continues to spin slowly to the east there is even a chance of snow reaching the southern states of Tennessee, northern Alabama and northern Mississippi early next week.

The storm will mean more rain for the already flooded Mississippi Valley.

Downpours could put a damper on activities in Louisville for Derby Day.

There is a chance of muddy track conditions if downpours manage to swing through right before the Kentucky Derby.

Snowy: Mike Gregg trudges through the snow Thursday morning in Austin, Minnesota to walk his dogSnowy: Mike Gregg trudges through the snow Thursday morning in Austin, Minnesota to walk his dog
Dumped on: These spring flowers don't stand a chance from the wintry weather that has dumped more than a foot of snow on Midwestern states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and MissouriDumped on: These spring flowers don’t stand a chance from the wintry weather that has dumped more than a foot of snow on Midwestern states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri
Icey: Dan Hopkins, rides his way to work as the snowstorm passed through Boulder, Coloradok during the Wednesday morning snow in Boulder, ColoradoIcey: Dan Hopkins, rides his way to work as the snowstorm passed through Boulder, Colorado
Slushy mess: A snow plow clears the roads in Nebraska. The storm unloaded more than 15 inches in some partsSlushy mess: A snow plow clears the roads in Nebraska. The storm unloaded more than 15 inches in some parts
Not so Golden: Trees that would normally be blooming in the green leaves of spring are instead covered with fresh snow in downtown Golden, ColoradoNot so Golden: Trees that would normally be blooming in the green leaves of spring are instead covered with fresh snow in downtown Golden, Colorado

Although there have been some snowstorms before in May in the region, it is rare.

Record books refer to 1907 as a terrible year for a late winter storm and there were a number of years during the mid-1940s but there hasn’t been anything like this in recent memory.

According to National Weather Service records for May, until this storm in 2013, there has never been more than 2.0 inches of snow in Omaha, Nebraska.

Until this week, the heaviest May snowfall on record for Des Moines, Iowa, was in during 1907, when 1.2 inches fell.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2318351/Freak-weather-historic-snow-Spring-snowstorm-spreads.html#ixzz2SBWs2J5A

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Posted on May 2, 2013, in Earth Changes / Extreme Weather, Science / Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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