Four More U.S. Storms to Close Out April
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The bad news is that four more storms are expected to hit the U.S. before the month of April ends.
The only silver lining is that not one single area will be hit by all four storms.
For farmers, planting delays will be unavoidable, though, for the next 10 days.
However, after this series of storms, the month of May looks warm and dry.
The first storm is very intense coming out of the central Rockies today, dumping snow and traveling into the central Plains states moving eastward into the western Lakes over the next few days.
“The very slow moving storm is hitting western Kansas on Wednesday. By noon tomorrow (Thursday), it will have not moved very far,” says Dale Moehler, AccuWeather meteorologist.
By Friday, at noon, the eye of the storm will be over Rochester, Minnesota. And the storm will weaken at that point. It will trigger some rainfall in the eastern Corn Belt by the weekend.
It’s the slow movement that is contributing to the amounts of rain and snow that the Midwest will get out of this first storm.
“On the north side of the storm, where there is a lot of cold air, 18 inches of snow has fallen in western South Dakota. And we’re looking for general storm totals of between 1 and 2 feet of snow between northwest Nebraska, most of South Dakota, into west-central Minnesota,” Moehler says.
To the south of storm number one, the weather will be a mixture of rain, snow, and sleet, he says.
Just 40 miles north of that storm line, it’s expected to be an all-out blizzard, Moehler says.
“The highest snow totals are probably going to be around 3 feet for central and northeast South Dakota, with 50 to 60 mph wind – an all-out blizzard,” Moehler says.
Historically, this is a five- to 10-year storm for the High Plains that could close down highways and interstates.
Wheat Crop Damage
The winds from this week’s storm are going to line up at 20,000 feet in the air. When that happens, very strong surface winds develop, he says.
“We’re expecting 60 to 65 mph winds Wednesday afternoon, across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. The wheat crop that’s growing in those areas will get hit hard with the wind, sand, and dust. I think there will be crop damage,” Moehler says.
Because most of the U.S. Plains, High Plains, and Upper Midwest winter snow has melted, a major factor for the current storms is how fast this current snow will melt.
“The good news is that the weather following this current major storm is somewhat chilly,” Moehler says. Meaning, the snow will melt during the day, refreeze at night. So, the whole snowmelt will be slowed down. So, we will release the runoff in a staggered fashion.”
Storm Number 2
There are more storms, after this week’s storm ends. However, the path is different.
Storm number two comes out of the southern Plains over the weekend and heads up the Ohio Valley, Moehler says.
“So, most of the rain will cover the southeastern part of the Corn Belt,” Moehler says, with probably 1 to 2 inches.
Storm Number 3
This storm hits in the middle of next week. It will take the path of the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys.
“The southeast of the Midwest will see most of the rain with this storm,” the meteorologist says. Both storm number two and storm number three are quick hitting; they combine for abut 4 inches for the southeastern part of the Midwest. This could cause some major rises on the Ohio River and keep the Mississippi River running high.”
Storm Number 4
It’s a little early to describe the location of this storm, Moehler says.
“The timing of this mostly rainstorm is late next weekend and the start of the final week of April,” he says. This storm takes a much more northerly track. It will move across the northern Rockies, northern Plains, and even up into the Canadian Prairies.”
The good news with this storm is that it will be so far north that it will not bring a lot of rain to the Midwest.
Finally, A Planting Window
As of April 10, 2018, weather models indicate that the month of May could trend drier and warmer.
“A warmer pattern should begin in the last week of April and continue into May. So, we should get favorable weather for catching up with slowed corn and soybean planting,” Moehler says.