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Weekly Weather Event -Week of April 11

April 15, 2022

The north-central United States saw unusually heavy snow this past week. Blizzard and whiteout conditions blanked the Dakotas and Montana with between 8-14 inches of snow in some areas, and Albro Lake in southwestern Montana saw a mindboggling 47 inches of snow. Unsurprisingly, this April blizzard shattered records for both low temperatures and snowfall accumulation across Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These storms persisted for several days, bringing total snow reports to between 28 and 36 total inches throughout North Dakota.

Alongside the historic snowfall, strong wind gusts resulted in whiteout conditions and extremely low visibility throughout North Dakota. These strong winds are a result of a tight pressure gradient between a Colorado Low, a low-pressure center, and a strong high-pressure system to the northwest. This has tightened pressure gradients, and the rapid change in pressure has produced strong wind gusts. Current reports have placed wind gusts at over 60mph.

While a blizzard of this strength is rare this late into April, the snow did bring welcome precipitation to drought-stricken areas of the Dakotas and Montana. Large parts of Montana is under extreme drought, and snowmelt will certainly help alleviate those conditions.