125

Today is the 125th straight day that Fargo/Moorhead has had at least one inch of snow on the ground, so yes, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen much grass (most of the area received snow at the same time so would have a similar streak going). Back in the winter of 1996-1997 we had 120 days of a foot or more snow on the ground and a longer stretch of snow cover exceeding one inch, so this isn’t unusual, it’s just a longer stretch of snow cover than we’ve seen in a few years.

Officially there is just 1" of snow on the ground in Fargo/Moorhead and with temperatures in the 40s, there is a good chance that tomorrow we’ll have just a "trace" on the ground ending our official streak of snow covered ground. Of course, many piles may still be with us for a couple more weeks, but it appears that our snow covered season is coming to an end.

EDIT:  Official snow cover as of Thursday morning is now ZERO.  So our streak of snow cover this winter did end at 125 days, but around here, more snow covered days are always possible of course.

Six Pix 3/26/06

SIX PIX FOR 3/26/06


From: Jane Heckert
from Moorhead, MN

As embarrassing as this is for me to admit: I’ve learned something new today. When I opened a letter containing this week’s six pix picture from Jane Heckert, I wondered how a wild turkey managed to get itself up five stories and onto the railing of a moorhead condo? Well, I must’ve also asked myself this question out loud – because a member of our WDAY staff answered back to me, "He must’ve walked inside and taken the elevator up to the fifth floor…How else do you think?" Obviously, I did NOT know wild turkeys could fly! (Did you?) What a surprise Jane must’ve had to discover this morning visitor: A visitor that sat on this icy railing for more than two hours!

Thanks for the great picture Jane!

Send in your picture to:
SIX PIX
C/O WDAY Television
Box 2466
Fargo, N.D. 58108

or email jgoldade@wday.com

Nebraska Snow

Here is a Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service in North Platte, Nebraska.  There were other areas in southeastern Nebraska that also got over 1 foot of snow, but here are some totals from central Nebraska:

...SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM BLASTS NEBRASKA...

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM DEVELOPED EARLY IN THE WEEKEND OVER THE DESERT
SOUTHWEST...ALLOWING SOUTHERLY WINDS TO BRING MOISTURE INTO THE
HIGH PLAINS REGION. THEN AS THE LOW MOVED SLOWLY ONTO THE PLAINS...
COLD AIR WAS PULLED SOUTH OUT OF CANADA. THE COMBINATION OF
MOISTURE AND COLD AIR WITH THE UPPER LEVEL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY THE
LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...CREATED IDEAL HEAVY SNOW CONDITIONS. THE SLOW
MOVEMENT OF THE SYSTEM ALLOWED FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS
OVER PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA.

THE HIGHEST SNOW TOTAL WAS REPORTED AT CHAMBERS IN HOLT COUNTY...
WITH A WHOPPING 29 INCHES. BELOW ARE ADDITIONAL STORM TOTAL
SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION AMOUNTS. LIST WILL BE UPDATED AS
ADDITIONAL REPORTS BECOME AVAILABLE.

LOCATION COUNTY TOTAL SNOWFALL (INCHES)

CHAMBERS HOLT 29.0
STAPLETON 5W LOGAN 22.1
KILGORE 1NE CHERRY 20.1
MASON CITY CUSTER 18.0
ANSELMO 9NW CUSTER 15.5
ARNOLD CUSTER 14.6
EUSTIS 2NW FRONTIER 13.1
WAUNETA 3NW CHASE 12.0
WELLFLEET LINCOLN 11.0
MULLEN 15S HOOKER 10.3
CHAMPION 8W CHASE 9.0
MEDICINE CREEK DAM FRONTIER 9.0
NORTH PLATTE 7SSW LINCOLN 8.5
SUTHERLAND 1N LINCOLN 8.0
GRANT 1NE PERKINS 7.5
IMPERIAL CHASE 6.5
OSHKOSH 10NE GARDEN 6.0
BIG SPRINGS 4W DEUEL 5.7
GRANT 3S PERKINS 5.2
IMPERIAL 1ENE CHASE 4.8
MADRID PERKINS 4.3

Six Pix for 3/19/06

SIX PIX FOR 3/19/06


From: Jeff Kronschnabel
taken northeast of Fertile, MN

So how does this happen? What you’re looking at is a perfectly round counter-clockwise rotating circle of ice in the Sand Hill River northeast of Fertile, MN. Jeff says in his email that this circle of ice was about 12 to 15 feet in diameter and was rotating in the river for much of January. …until a cold snap arrived in late January, causing the river to freeze over and this circle of ice to be forever gone. I’ve never seen anything quite like this in real life and I have a feeling that thjs picture is as close as I may ever come!

Thanks for the great picture Jeff!

Send in your picture to:
SIX PIX
C/O WDAY Television
Box 2466
Fargo, N.D. 58108

or email jgoldade@wday.com

Snow Cover

It’s been so cloudy lately, that it’s been tough to use satellite imagery to show snow cover over the upper-midwest.  I blogged about this last autumn, and finally, Tuesday was sunny enough to show you a visible satellite image.    Most of the white you see on the image below is actually snow cover.  If you look carefully you can see two "streaks".   From  Pierre, South Dakota to about Lake of the Woods in Minnesota is a narrow "streak" of white that was caused by Saturday morning’s snow storm.  Another "streak" of white can be found covering much of southern South Dakota and southern Minnesota.  That area of white is associated with the Sunday snowstorm.

Until Sunday’s snow storm about the only area left with snowcover was those of us in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and much of northern Minnesota.   Of course,  snowcover is much more widespread now with more snow expected Wednesday Night and Thursday especially over southern Minnesota where the Twin Cities are once again under a Winter Storm Warning.

SuperStorm of ’66

Wednesday, March 2, 1966 started off with a gentle breeze and many people started off the day enjoying some fine weather as there was little snow on the ground and temperatures had been fairly mild the previous few days. This all came to a rapid halt as what is probably the worst blizzard of the 20th century in North Dakota was about to hit the area.

For four days the storm ravaged the northern plains, Fargo/Moorhead picked up around 15 inches of snow, but not far to the west in eastern and especially northeastern North Dakota two to three feet of snow would fall over the course of four days. The wind gusted to 70 mph (over 100 mph in Nebraska) and created drifts of 30 to 40 feet over the area. Bismarck reported 42 straight hours, that is almost two straight days of zero visibility.

One aspect of that winter that made the storm particularly shocking is that the winter had been cold and dry to that point. January of 1966 was extremely cold, with 30 out of 31 nights below zero. However, despite the cold, snow was light that winter. Despite the steady cold, there was only 2-3 inches of snow on the ground most of the winter. Also, right after the storm, the spring arrived with warm temperatures and a rapid snow melt that caused extensive flooding in the Red River Valley north of Grand Forks.

Thirteen people lost their lives in that storm and livestock losses were extremely high. It took days, in some instances a couple of weeks to dig out some parts of the area. No storm since has come close to the magnitude of what could be described as a super storm. The rest of the month the weather was quite nice and mild (with the exception of a few days after the snow was over), so by the end of March the snow was gone and life returned to normal, but for anyone old enough to remember, those four days in March will never be forgotten.

Feel free to post any memories you have on this 40th anniversary of the "Blizzard of ’66" in our comment section.