Another “bomb cyclone” to hit the Midwest this week with heavy snow

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Chicago may see half a foot of new snow. Storm may delay spring planting.

A near-repeat of March’s “bomb cyclone” will bring up to 30 inches of snow this week to portions of Minnesota and South Dakota, with blizzard conditions and a threat of severe thunderstorms.

Roughly the same area that experienced flooding rains in March — and still trying to dry out enough to plant corn and soybeans — will see another round of heavy rain and heavy snow. The forecast location of the intense cyclone as of Thursday morning April 11 shows it taking a similar path to the record-setting March storm:

Forecast locations of strong low pressure and precipitation patterns Thursday morning, April 11, 2019 ( 

Forecast snowfall totals by midday Friday April 12 indicate the heaviest snowfall (up to 30 inches) over southern Minnesota, with 12-16 inches for Minneapolis:

Forecast total snowfall from the GFS model by midday Friday April 12 (graphic courtesy of

The European ECMWF forecast model adds similarly heavy (~30 inches) snow totals in eastern South Dakota. Much of Wisconsin and northern Michigan are forecast to receive 6 to 12 inches.

The energy for such intense cyclones comes from the strong temperature contrast between two air masses. For example, by late Wednesday the temperatures in Nebraska will range from the 70s in the southeast to the 20s in the northwest, simultaneously feeding both blizzard conditions and a severe thunderstorm threat within the state.

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April 8, 2019 9:36 am

What a bummer, when it is time to plant, the winter weather stubbornly hangs on.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 8, 2019 9:50 am

But the children will get to see snow.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 8, 2019 10:02 am

They just wont know what food is

Pamela Gray
Reply to  David
April 8, 2019 7:12 pm

+10! Most in yo face comment eva!

Reply to  David
April 9, 2019 3:01 am

snocones is food? arent they?

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 8, 2019 2:29 pm

Good thing I bought ice cream and birdfood, right? Hey, BRING IT!!!! I DARE you!!!! I’m up for this.

Big T
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
April 8, 2019 6:10 pm

Bomb cyclone,HAHAHAHAHA, the weather channel likes the dramatics! The boys will be standing with their legs far apart in this one! It show their “power”.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  Big T
April 9, 2019 6:34 am

How many Hiroshimas are in a ‘Bomb Cyclone’?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 8, 2019 9:53 am

Temps are OK in the mid-Mississippi valley, but it won’t stop raining. the lowlands with the “good” soil won’t be accessible until mid-May here due to the spring floods. Funny though, we get crop insurance and most years get a crop too. I don’t own any bottom land, so I don’t know the details, but some folks here claim to really ‘get over’ in flood years.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 8, 2019 11:24 am

Snow in April after 78 years of adding
CO2 to the atmosphere ?

Not enough CO2 — we have to add more !

Reply to  Richard Greene
April 8, 2019 1:16 pm

In a few years they will tell you that CO2 causes ice ages !

Reply to  Petit_Barde
April 8, 2019 5:23 pm

They said that already. Fresh water melt stopping the Atlantic conveyer. See also the movie The Day After Tomorrow.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 9, 2019 4:38 am

Accuweather has to compensate for its inaccurate and inadequate 50-day forecasts, doesn’t it?

Pop Piasa
April 8, 2019 9:46 am

Amazing that NOAA keeps claiming that spring snows are decreasing steadily on their sites.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 8, 2019 9:56 am

The shrinking Spring snow claims by warmists have been misleading for a long time, since they use data back to the 1970’s (when spring snows were at their peak) as the HIGH point, thus a downslope is inevitable.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 8, 2019 11:18 am

They do the same thing with arctic sea ice. They start their trendline at the coldest part of the second half of the 20th century, the 1970’s, in order to get their trend of decreasing arctic sea ice levels today.

Arctic sea ice was very low in the hot 1930’s, too. Then the global tempertures cooled off for decades down to the late 1970’s, where arctic sea ice was at its maximum and that’s where they start their trendline. If they started it in the 1930’s they would have a completely different look to the trend line.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 8, 2019 11:10 am

Iffen such wild weather of late Spring storms continues to “surprise” the forecasters, ….. how long before we should remind them that …….. “We told ya this was likely gonna happen iffen another maunder minimum occurs”.

April 8, 2019 9:59 am

No. I do not accept this. Send it to Chicago please. Thank you.

Reply to  D. Anderson
April 8, 2019 10:45 am

Mr Anderson thanks but no thanks

Ron Long
April 8, 2019 9:59 am

Dr. Roy, you must be mistaken. I asked a model once if it was allowed to snow once baseball season was underway and she said “get your hands off me”, which I took to be a no. Although I generally enjoy your comments you’re mixed up on this one. Just saying.

Reply to  Ron Long
April 8, 2019 10:35 am

Twins play Friday in Minneapolis. That should be fun.

Reply to  D. Anderson
April 8, 2019 4:06 pm

Do they have “snow delays” like they have “rain delays”? We went to a Twins game last summer and they had two rain delays. Game didn’t end until 12:55 AM.

Dennis Kelley
Reply to  D. Anderson
April 8, 2019 8:14 pm

I understand they are giving fans snow shovels as a promotion. Identical ones to those carried by the players to clear the base paths as they run.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Ron Long
April 8, 2019 12:49 pm

When they were designing and engineering Miller Park in Milwaukee, they wisely added a retractable roof because of the potential for lousy weather this time of the year (like what’s coming later this week). Brewers are on the West Coast thru this Sunday, but there is never a postponed/rescheduled game because of weather when the Brewers are playing at home.

The Chicago Cubs play at home this week too. So yes, it should be interesting.

Reply to  Ron Long
April 8, 2019 3:35 pm


That was good ^_^

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  Ron Long
April 9, 2019 6:42 am

“I asked a model once if it was allowed to snow once baseball season was underway and she said “get your hands off me”, which I took to be a no.”

Obviously she was a climate model.
So… what was she wearing? (Not asking for me, Uncle Joe wants to know.)

Dave Fair
April 8, 2019 10:05 am

Crap! The subsequent flooding will be blamed on global warming (That’s climate change for the Woke.).

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Dave Fair
April 8, 2019 10:53 am

The soil is mostly thawed now after the warm spell that just ended there. Percolation will be better than it was when rain fell on frozen ground to cause the floods. This will be good for the soil hydrology.
It remains to be seen how the press will portray it.

Paul S
April 8, 2019 10:08 am

Is the term “Bomb Cyclone” a legitimate term, or is called this to manufacture hysteria? Aside from the previous event I had never heard this term before.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Paul S
April 8, 2019 10:29 am

It’s when the pressure of a system drops by x bar in 24 hours or less. Not sure what x equals or when this term was first used.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Paul S
April 8, 2019 10:32 am

24 millibar in 24 hours.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Paul S
April 8, 2019 2:46 pm

Precursor to a Sharknado.

Bob boder
April 8, 2019 10:08 am

say it ain’t snow!

ferd berple
April 8, 2019 10:08 am

At first gkance the word “bomb” sounded like AGW hype. However, looking up cyclone bomb on the e-googIizer found this:

Sanders and his colleague John Gyakum defined a “bomb” as an extratropical cyclone that deepens by at least (24 sin φ/ sin 60°)mb in 24 hours, where φ represents latitude in degrees.

good thing this only applies outside the tropics. Otherwise a calm sunny day on the equator would be an equatorial bomb. Sin(0) = 0.

April 8, 2019 10:15 am

ECMWF ala Windy sez dry your muckluks by the fire:

April 8, 2019 10:31 am

Shhhhhh! Holthaus will have another bout of uncontrollable climate-porn orgasms if he hears about this.

April 8, 2019 10:34 am

I still think that the sudden increase in the use of terms like “bomb cyclone” and “polar vortex” in the popular press is a coordinated move to make not particularly abnormal weather systems seem unusual and scary. “Low pressure system” and “north wind” just don’t get adrenaline flowing in comparison.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Martin
April 8, 2019 12:31 pm

I agree.
Terms that were used in the professions that the professionals understood are now being used more and more in weather forecasting to make them sound…different. “100 year flood” is another. It doesn’t mean such a flood only happens once in a hundred years, but that’s the public’s perception when they hear it.
The perception of “unusual” weather is what they’re after.
PS Look up the lowest barometric pressure ever measured in Ohio. A ‘bomb cyclone” if there ever was one.
But it’s not remembered as a ‘bomb” anything. It was a winter storm that deserved a name AFTER, not before, the event. (I was in it.)

william Johnston
Reply to  Martin
April 8, 2019 5:51 pm

I guess “Siberian express” has lost its luster.

April 8, 2019 10:42 am

Ja. ja.
I told you it is globally cooling.

Difficult to imagine that there is really nobody as cool as I am..
[with my results, that is]

Reply to  henryp
April 8, 2019 10:48 am

that doc. of mine that is open up in the cloud now was the situation in 2015.
I am not sure what is like now…

You tell me?

April 8, 2019 10:45 am

When do they start selling the naming rights to snow storms? The virtue signaling market is strong.

April 8, 2019 10:48 am

Could someone get pictures of solar panels in MN after this storm?

April 8, 2019 10:49 am

that doc. of mine that is open up in the cloud now was the situation in 2015.
I am not sure what is like now…

You tell me?

April 8, 2019 10:50 am

Yeah, I understand this will be an issue where it strikes, but the sensationalism…. When I was young they were just called strong low-pressure systems.

Reply to  beng135
April 8, 2019 11:02 am


it is getting cooler, though

Steve O
April 8, 2019 10:58 am

Get your children inside NOW! I mean, if people can’t outrun a sea level rise of a few inches per generation, how will they ever outrun THIS!

April 8, 2019 11:02 am


it is getting cooler, though

April 8, 2019 11:05 am

The last one created a blizzard here in Colorado Springs. According to the forecast, this one is supposed to have maximum effect further to the northeast. It’s forecast to get windy, but not that windy. We’ll see.

Rick C PE
April 8, 2019 11:14 am

Snow in April is not at all unusual in the upper Midwest. Last year we got 4″ on April 28th which wiped out opening day of my golf league. I remember quite well a snow storm in mid April 1973 that dropped 8 – 12 inches in about 6 hours.

Today it’s sunny and 67 F in the Madison, WI area and farmers are planting corn, soy and oats/alfalfa. The snow later this week won’t be a big deal. Better than 4+ inches of rain in terms of flooding as the run-off is slower. In any case, we don’t plant anything that is frost intolerant until after Mother’s Day.

Robert Bailey
April 8, 2019 11:23 am

You can blame this bomb on me. I changed the oil and made repairs to my snowblower this weekend and then packed it away in the shed until next winter. How foolish of me. I knew I should have waited until June.

Burl Henry
April 8, 2019 11:24 am

Not at all surprising.

Our current average global temperatures are as high as those seen during the El Ninos prior to 2000, so we are basically living in an El Nino-like situation, with their attendant climate-related disasters.

Tom Abbott
April 8, 2019 11:28 am

From watching the weather for a very long time, it seems to me it is normal weather when the United States gets two notable snowstorms in one winter/spring season. We get a big one in Dec./Jan and then we get one around this time of year, give or take a few weeks.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2019 2:20 pm

There’s a phrase that was once common that you won’t hear on The Storm Channel, “March, in like a lion, out like a lamb.”
(We have a family Easter picture from decades ago in northern Kentucky. We’re all standing in 3 inches of snow.)

April 8, 2019 11:36 am

The only thing different this time is it’s not hitting Denver and the Front Range head on.

April 8, 2019 12:00 pm

Well of COURSE this is because of Global Warming.

Because Global Warming is Tricky that way!

Farmer Ch E retired
April 8, 2019 12:03 pm

The climate refugees waiting to move to Duluth will need to delay their move now. How disappointing!

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
April 8, 2019 2:04 pm

That’s hilarious. Poor Keenan! (what a maroon…)

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  icisil
April 8, 2019 7:06 pm

The new Duluth climate refugees will need to add the phrase “bomb cyclone” to their vocabularies.

April 8, 2019 12:04 pm

The daily AO index
comment image

April 8, 2019 12:05 pm

The pressure over Iceland increases to almost 1040 hPa.

April 8, 2019 12:12 pm

Thunderstorms cause flooding on the Mississippi.

Joel O'Bryan
April 8, 2019 12:23 pm

Wind and precip. wise, this one will be worse than the March storm.

And now that every weather event is attributable to CC, the ignorant media will pile on this with an equally ignorant quote from Mann or his ilk.

April 8, 2019 12:24 pm

we still have left over snow from winter her in SW WI, in the woods on north facing slopes. All of our flooding has been due to a ridiculously frozen ground and large snow load.

April 8, 2019 2:39 pm

Gee whiz, it snowed here in April last year and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that, and so on and so on, and so WHAT????????????

I have pictures. If it snows here at all, I’ll get more pictures. Then I’ll go on about my business.

GP Hanner
April 8, 2019 4:39 pm

Having lived in western South Dakota for 13 years, looking at the forecasts, that is setting up to be a standard spring blizzard. What is all this “cyclone bomb” hooey?

John Robertson
April 8, 2019 8:26 pm

Kinda curious,what were the conditions leading up to the 1926 -1927 Mississippi flood?

April 9, 2019 12:17 am

Low it will follow the stratospheric intrusion.
comment image

April 9, 2019 12:42 am

Meanwhile the arctic sea ice extent is at ‘lowest for date’ for satellite record for tenth day in a row, following a period of warmer than average over arctic ocean.

which is undoubtedly related to this and undoubtedly due to climate change.

Reply to  griff
April 9, 2019 1:38 am

The stratosphere shows something else.
comment image

Taylor Pohlman
Reply to  griff
April 9, 2019 6:01 am

Ah, yes, arctic ice returning to where it was in the 40’s. Call me when it gets as low as the thirties, when CO2 was really high – not! Air temps have been low this past 3 months, compared to recent years, and still way belie freezing. It’s bottom melt, not air temps that effect the ice now. Get your facts straight Griff, it’s embarrasing.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
April 9, 2019 3:11 pm

“Ah, yes, arctic ice returning to where it was in the 40’s”

I’d be interested to see evidence of that, as in a peer-reviewed paper.
Do you have any?

Reply to  griff
April 9, 2019 7:33 am

And sea ice volume is way up:

Certainly the largest in the satellite record (though that only means since 2010)

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  griff
April 9, 2019 7:51 am


The Danish Meteorological Institute shows the arctic sea ice extent is fine:
Don’t trust Mark Serreze’s NSIDC. They’re still trying to show the arctic is screaming.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  griff
April 9, 2019 9:15 pm

griff, you report that arctic ice extent is at “lowest for date”.
But as we both know Arctic ice extent from February 21 to March 21 was the highest it has been in the last five year. Undoubtedly due to weather staying about the same, not global warming/aka climate change.

April 9, 2019 7:31 am

80 today (tues), 4″ snow predicted for thursday. Just another April

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