Spring snow storm across the central United States • Earth.com

Last update: November 14th, 2019 at 11:00 am

An early spring storm storm brought heavy snowfall across the central United States in late March 2016. A strong, upper-level trough of low pressure dropped down into the Central Rockies in the middle of the week of March 20, producing a storm that dumped heavy snow on the order of a foot or more in a short period of time along the Front Range of Colorado from near Colorado Springs northward through Denver and up into southeastern Wyoming.

Around 2 feet of snow were reported in places like Aurora and Boulder with some of the highest totals reaching 31 inches. Farther to the north, Cheyenne, Wyoming, picked up more than 14 inches of snow from the storm. The blizzard stranded hundreds of motorists along major interstates with winds gusting up to 50 mph; the storm caused Denver International Airport to close for several hours. The heavy wet snow also led to widespread power outages in the region. After hitting Colorado, the storm tracked eastward into the Upper Midwest where it then dumped up to 2 feet of snow across portions of central Wisconsin.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a true-color image of the aftermath of the storm on March 24. Clouds from the storm can be seen in the southeast section of the image, covering parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Illinois, with fresh white snow lying on the ground on the west side of the eastward-moving system. From east to west, snow also lies across parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado.


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