A rare April blizzard struck the Upper Midwest this weekend, producing more than a foot of snow with wind gusts topping 50 mph. To no surprise, there were widespread travel problems with road closures, event cancellations and postponements. 753 flights were canceled at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
, which shut down operations completely for eight hours on Saturday. Statewide in Minnesota, there were hundreds of accidents and more than a thousand spin-outs or reports of vehicles sliding off roads. Green Bay, Wisconsin recorded the heaviest snowfall in 129 years
The Minnesota Twins
cancelled three baseball games from Friday to Sunday, a first at Target Field. Even with the final snowflakes falling Sunday evening, dozens of schools and some government offices will be opening late or closed today around the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
The blizzard helped set several snowfall records in the Twin Cities. In an average year, Minneapolis and St. Paul typically see about 53" of snow. Since January 1st, 70.3" has fallen, the most to start a year. MSP International Airport recorded 14.9" over the three day period, the record for the largest April snowstorm. An April monthly snowfall record has also already been set.
35 years ago, the area also experienced a blizzard. That was the last time both Hennepin (that includes Minneapolis) and Ramsey (including St. Paul) counties were both under Blizzard Warnings. Surprisingly, this storm did not make the top 10 for all-time snowstorms. It ranks in at number 11, with the most accumulation being the Halloween storm of 1991 which saw more than two feet of snow.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels