National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Event Synopsis:

A strong low pressure system tracking from the panhandle of Oklahoma into the Great Lakes region produced a swatch of moderate to heavy snow over the Dakotas from the early Tuesday morning (March 10th) through the early evening. 

The heaviest snow generally fell across far northern and northeastern South Dakota, with several locations picking up over 6” of snowfall.  In addition to the snow, strong north to northwest winds gusted as high as 45 mph resulting in significant blowing and drifting snow. This not only made travel difficult, but also made accurate snowfall measurements a real challenge!  The NWS thanks all those who braved the cold and wind to provide a snowfall report!

The hardest hit areas were portions of far northeastern South Dakota and west-central Minnesota where blizzard conditions were reported for several hours in the afternoon and evening. Visibilities in these areas frequently dropped below one quarter mile, with near whiteout conditions at times.  In fact, Interstate 29 between Watertown and the North Dakota border was closed for a time Tuesday night. 

Yet another surge of cold air wrapped in behind this system on Tuesday night with below zero temperatures and bitterly cold wind chill values.  Although the arctic air is expected to hang around for another day or so, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  A Pacific airmass should allow temperatures to warm back into the 40s and 50s for the upcomimg weekend.  Good news for those of us thinking spring! 



 Below is a storm total snowfall map for all snowfall reports recieved through 11 am CDT Wednesday.