National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Severe Storms in the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains Saturday; Increasing Heat Across the South

Scattered severe thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, large to very large hail and a couple of tornadoes will be possible Saturday afternoon in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains. Stronger storms may produce heavy to excessive rainfall. Simmering heat will impact areas from the Southwest to the Gulf Coast and Southeast this weekend. Heat indices may exceed 100 degrees. Read More >

Overview

An early spring snow storm brought heavy, wet snow and strong, gusty winds to the region Tuesday, April 2nd, lingering through Wednesday the 3rd. 

The bulk of the snow fell Tuesday and Tuesday night with narrow banding resulting in highly variable snowfall amounts from location to location. In addition, the temperature profile in the near surface layer of the atmosphere resulted in significant snowfall difference between valley and ridge top locations.  For instance, while the La Crosse airport received less than 1 1/2" from this event, the National Weather Service office on a ridge overlooking the city (approx 600 ft above) received over 14"! A few hundred feet of elevation made a remarkable difference in how much snow accumulated. Many public and media reports echoed the same findings  in valley and ridge locations.  

Meanwhile, the winds started to "crank up" overnight Tuesday with northerly gusts upwards of 40 to 55 mph. These would persist through the day Wednesday areawide, although strongest across the open and unsheltered areas west of the Mississippi River. While the snow was wet and heavy in nature, these strong winds managed to drift some of that snow. Also, trees weighted down by the heavy snow experienced some damage. 

Radar image from afternoon of April 2 2024
Radar animation from 11 am to 5 pm, April 2nd 2024
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