By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 30,2017, 4:23:45PM,EDT
It will feel like the calendar has been turned back to winter instead of moving ahead to May as disruptive snow continues to sweep across the central United States into Monday.“A very strong spring storm cutting northward through the Plains is dumping a narrow swath of heavy snow on its western side,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda said.
The same storm was responsible for the deadly tornadoes in northeastern Texas and the rising rivers in the Mississippi Valley.
After proving to be a boon for the ski resorts in the Rockies, the snow will continue to sweep from western Kansas to Minnesota through Monday.
“Several inches of wet snow will blanket places like Goodland, Kansas, and Kearney, Nebraska, before pushing northward to Watertown, South Dakota, on Sunday night into Monday morning,” Sojda said.
Snow can exceed a half a foot in western Kansas and central Nebraska.
Snow will also spread over western and northern Minnesota Sunday night into Monday, whitening St. Cloud and Duluth.
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Wet snow may mix in Minneapolis on the first day of May. Little, if any, of the snow is expected to accumulate in the city.
“Snow will fall heavy enough for slushy accumulations on roadways across parts of the Plains, leading to messy travel,” Sodja said.
The rate of snowfall is key to accumulations this time of year when temperatures are marginal for snow, especially in regards to road surfaces. Heavy snowfall is required to overcome the effects of the strong sun during the day and the warmth stored up in the ground from the days preceding the snow.
Heavy snowfall is expected in a roughly 100-mile-wide swath on the Plains. Treacherous travel will develop on stretches of interstates 29, 70, 80, 90 and 94.
“There can even be some thunder where the snow is heaviest,” Sodja said. “Winds will also gust to 40-55 mph, leading to blizzard conditions at times." The central Plains will face the strongest winds and more widespread blizzard conditions.
I-70 is closed west of Hays, Kansas, to the Colorado border, according to Kansas Department of Transportation.
Multiple vehicle slide-offs have been reported in Culbertson and Danbury, Nebraska, according to emergency management.
The snow is falling on areas where normal highs range from the lower 60s in Minnesota to the lower 70s in the northwestern corner of Texas. The last time Watertown, South Dakota, measured snow in May was on May 9, 1979.
Highs in the 30s will accompany the snowstorm. The gusty wind will hold AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below actual temperatures, further making it feel like winter has returned.
The heavy, wet nature of the snow will make it difficult to shovel. Residents, especially those with heart issues, should use caution and take frequent breaks when shoveling.
"The cold and/or weight of the snow could damage flowers that residents may have already planted," AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said.
The first day of May could bring school delays or cancellations in the northern Plains.
Children and those young at heart will welcome the snow as one last opportunity to go sledding before summer arrives.
However, do not delay in grabbing your sled. Temperatures will quickly rebound the day after the storm departs, rapidly erasing the snow and winter's revenge.