Summary of the historic May 2nd Snow Storm

Last weekend we finally had a nice stretch of warm, above average weather. It was simply…AWESOME! It even continued into the work week. On Tuesday, highs topped out in the 80s! But then…it all came crashing down. We crashed right back down to winter.

We (the weather team) knew there was going to be snow. Coming off such a warm stretch and it being, you know, May and all, it was hard to imagine this much snow falling. Some forecast models showed it, but some didn’t. It’s hard to forecast for a once in a lifetime event like this, but it happened. The snow totals were staggering.

Above is a radar time lapse from the La Crosse National Weather Service. The loop goes from Midnight to 6pm on May 2nd. As you can see, this was a long duration snow event. The narrow band of snow really didn’t budge the entire day. The clash of warm and cold air masses was able to produce heavy snow at times with this snow band. Snow totals of over a foot seemed easy…even in May. Below is a look at a snow totals map for the area. Looks like the highest snow report was in Hayward where a staggering 18.0” fell.

In Eau Claire, a historic 9.3” fell from the storm. That totally smashed the old record for the month of May as you can see by the numbers below. The old record was only 3” back on in 1935. And that was over two days on May 1st and 2nd.

May 2nd, 2013 will be a day we never forget. At least I know I won’t. The fact it could snow that much in May is incredible. Over the past couple days other parts of the country have seen odd May snow too. In Arkansas, some areas picked up several inches of snow where previously no snow had ever been recorded in the month of May. Unreal!

With last week’s snow storm, Eau Claire is now tied in the 3rd place for most snow in a winter season. We’re tied with the winter of 1892/93. Wow, that’s a long time ago! The winter of 1996/97 still leads for most snow in a winter season, but we are only just over 1” from catching up to the second place spot. I don’t know about you, but I think we’ll be ok staying at a tie with number 3. Records go back to 1893.

Below is a look at some of the pictures that we received from the storm. Thanks to everyone for your pictures. We got a ton, which is awesome! Some of them were really hilarious. Looks like most people were making the best out of a less than great situation. Check out our facebook page to see those photos. Here’s just a few that were sent in. In a couple photos, you can see the stress the snow caused on trees around the Chippewa Valley. This was a very, very heavy and wet snow. Trees going down led to plenty of power outages across the area.

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