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 (Weatherstreet.com). 

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 Weatherbell.com).

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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”.

  1. 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • “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.)

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

    • 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.)

    • 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?

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    • 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.)

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

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

  22. 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.

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