A wild start to May...(5-1-13)

<B>(5:45 pm Wednesday May 1st)</B>While central New York is basking in sun and warmth it is a much different story over the middle part of the country where dramatic changes are the norm.

We have talked a lot about the blocking pattern setting up over the United States this week and what it means for us here in central New York.  However, there are always two sides to the story when you have a major block in the atmosphere. While the weather is rather tranquil here in central New York, things are more active in the middle part of the country.  It snowed today in Denver which is not all that unusual for early May.  Over the last 10 years, Denver’s final snow of the season came during the month of May five times.  Their average date of last snow in April 26th. The record for their latest snowfall is June 12th 1947.

What is a bit unusual is the snow that could fall out into the Plains later today into tonight.
Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska could have their first measurable May snow in 46 years (May 1967).  

Farther northeast into Iowa, snow in the air in May happens about 47% of the years and measurable snow of a few tenths might happen once every 10 years but a couple inches (like they are expecting tonight) is rare.  You again have to go back to May 1967.

In the upper Mississippi Valley, where April was a cruel month with record amounts of snow, it looks like they are going to add insult to injury.  Minneapolis could end up with 6-9” tonight which would be the greatest May snowfall on record.  Here is a link to more climate information about May snow in the Twin Cities. Duluth could add another 3-6” snow just after their snowiest April on record ended. Duluth is under a Winter Weather Advisory some of the surrounding areas are also under Flood Warnings because of snow melt over the last few days.

Probably the most amazing turnaround in the Plains over the last 24 hours comes from Amarillo where Tuesday they set a record high of 97 on Tuesday and they are in the upper 40s Wednesday afternoon with 30s and some snow expected tonight.  Still, even in the land of wild temperature drops due to cold front cold ‘Blue Northers’ this is not record.  Almost 100 years ago, Amarillo had a 66 degree temperature drop in just 7 hours.  Here is more how often those big temperature changes occur in the Texas Panhandle. And you thought we had wild weather swings here in central New York.

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