Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Floods Continue, Snow Rollers Spotted In Idaho

Spring flooding continues in portions of the country, with some of the worst currently in north Florida and along the Red River between Minnesota and North Dakota.

The southern flooding will be irritated by storms passing through today and tomorrow, and the upper midwest flooding will have some influence from new precipitation but also from warming temps and melting snow.

There are also some high waters in the center of the nation in Missouri and Illinois.

Looking ahead at the next 5 to 10 days, the western US may see a large ridge of high pressure build in with extremely warm temperatures.

Highs in the 70s and 80s across lower elevations are possible heading into the upcoming weekend. Below is a map of this potential warm trend in the west.

And the 8-14 day precipitation outlook for the nation is calling for most of us to be drier than normal.

If this comes true, it will be good news for those areas with flooding and for those in the south needing time to clean up from the killer tornadoes of the past few days.

I pull these maps from the Climate Prediction Center's website. If you don't already have it bookmarked, it is a great site to check every few days. Click here to go there now in a new window.

These next few weeks, maybe even days in some cases, to me -- will be some of the most exciting of the year because it will seem like overnight the grass will green up and the trees will leaf out.

At least here in the colder climates.

Some of the warmer locations may already be in that phase. I was out this morning putting lawn food down and noticed my maple trees have small little buds. The aspens too.

Here is a little weather history I ran across this morning while checking out the national weather.

On this date in 1957, two tornadoes touched down in Oregon.

One was in the Sandy area. The twister was about 35 To 50 Yards in diameter, and it uprooted large fir trees and lifted them 40 feet into the air.

A large barn was carried several hundred yards and roofs were torn off some houses. The path was about 3 miles long.

The second tornado was larger and touched down west of Ione. It rapidly moved towards Lexington.

The twister was nearly a quarter-mile wide at times and traveled nearly 20 Miles. Ironically it did very little damage.

And on this date in 1972, the temperature climbed to 100 degrees in Oklahoma City.

That is the earliest date in the year that a temperature of at least 100 has ever occurred in the city.

The 100 degree high also set a record as the warmest temperature ever observed in April for Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Wichita Falls also set an April high temperature that day, with a reading of 102 degrees.

For our CoCoRaHS family in Oklahoma, if you live within 90 miles of the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman, and you are a die-hard weather geek like myself, you can participate in a special hail project. Click here to learn more.

And finally in the title of this blog I said snow rollers spotted in Idaho. What the heck is a snow roller?

It's not a hockey team, or a road band from the 80s, nor is it the local roller skating club -- ah a lost past-time of good, clean fun -- the roller skating rink. (yep I am a child of the 80s/early 90s).

Well can I just tell you -- I've been following weather since I was 4, that is just shy of 30 years now, and I have never heard of this terminology.

Snow rollers are very unusual and extremely rare because of the unique combination of snow, wind, temperature and moisture needed to create them.

They form with light but sticky snow and strong (but not too strong) winds.

Click here for a link to the National Weather Service office in Spokane, Washington -- and you will see some awesome pictures of these snow rollers.

They look like little bales of hay -- only they are snow.

That is it from here -- off to church. If you celebrate, I wish you a very Happy Easter Sunday!


  1. I’ll be darn – Snow Rollers. I’ve never heard of or seen such a thing; you have to love weather phenomena. I checked out Google maps; they occurred about 225 miles SE of my location.


  2. Fantastic! Snow Rollers. Awesome. If I were building a snowman, I highly doubt I'd be able to reproduce the Snow Roller. Very unique. Thanks for sharing Chris!

  3. I live in EWA near some wheat fields and I have never seen snow rollers. How awesome! It must be a prairie phenomenon, cuz that's what's out here. The area is west and south of where I live.