National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


Another powerful Colorado Low, the second of three in less than three weeks, moved across North Dakota from Friday, April 22nd through Sunday, April 24th. Rain showers and even a few thunderstorms with heavy rain occurred on Friday. A wintry mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet and  snow fell across the west and north on Saturday, while showers and thunderstorms with heavy downpours pushed through the east. At one point on Saturday there were Blizzard Warnings ongoing in the west while a Tornado Watch was posted for the east! As the system pulled away Saturday night and Sunday, most areas saw snow. Strong winds were observed throughout the storm producing a blizzard across the west and north.

The impacts from this storm were adverse and widespread. In some cases, devastating. Roads and highways were closed in the west and north, including Interstate 94 from Mandan to the Montana border. Freezing rain, heavy wet snow, sleet, and wind gusts as high as 79 mph (New Town, ND DOT site) snapped thousands of power poles bringing lines down and causing extensive and extended power outages. The Williston Basin International Airport not only lost power, but had to close the runway due to significant blowing and drifting snow and near zero visibility. The Red Cross opened warming shelters in Williston and Crosby. Lastly, thunderstorms dropped hail and pushed gusty winds that damaged trees through the east. A brief tornado occurred in LaMoure County. Flash and overland flooding occurred with the storms. There was also very significant riverine flooding.

Tioga. Photo courtesy Gloria Bethel
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