An epic battle of airmasses took place last week

A long lasting and powerful storm system gave us several rounds of rain and snow all last week. This storm system was so strong that it created some incredible temperatures differences across a good chunk of the central U.S. It also brought severe weather to places that at the time felt more like they should be seeing snow and wintry weather.

Here’s a look at temperatures on Tuesday April 9th. Much of the eastern U.S. was reaching record highs in the 70s and 80s. In the mountain west, temperatures that look like it’s the heart of winter. Denver was only 14° with blizzard conditions. In the middle, was the epic battle between these two airmasses. Let’s zoom in to some of these clashes. First Iowa…

There was about a 50 degree difference in temperatures from one end of the state to the other. Southeast Iowa was basking in 80s while the northwest corner felt like winter with below freezing temperatures. The temperature differences only got more drastic the farther south you travel.

In Texas on April 9th, there was a massive drop off in temperatures in the northern panhandle. In a matter of only 200 miles you went from temperatures near 90 degrees down to temperatures in the lower 30s. When the cold front came through it was a shock to the system with temperatures plummeting…changing seasons in a matter of minutes. In Wichita, KS the temperature went from 72 to 55 degrees in only 4 minutes. Yikes!

Because these two airmasses were so different and so strong, it made this low pressure system very powerful. Thunderstorms fired up in eastern and central Nebraska, but here’s the kicker…temperatures were only in the 10s and 20s! The storm shown below produced severe hail while at the same time producing freezing rain and sleet. The red box below shows the severe thunderstorm warning that was in place for this storm.

Even in Eau Claire later that evening we had some thunder sleet and severe hail was reported in La Crosse with temperatures only in the 30s and 40s. It was a crazy day of weather. It just goes to show how volatile this time of year can be across the country. Too bad we’ve been on the chilly side of all this action. Below is a picture of when the thunder sleet in Eau Claire had changed to thunder snow. Roads were horrible that night!

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