After an unusually warm winter last season, the 2012-2013 winter has started with a bang across portions of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest as a powerful snowstorm unleashed shape.
Moderate to heavy snow spread from northeastern North Dakota into northwestern Minnesota early Thursday, while winds above 40 mph whipped across the region.
Storm reports from early Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012:
1:30 p.m. EDT Thursday: Snow is winding down across northeastern North Dakota, but still going strong from Bemidji to Warroad, Minn.
11:51 a.m. EDT Thursday: We added more photos to our snowstorm story.
11:00 a.m. EDT Thursday: Heavy snow is thumping from Crookston to Roseau, Minn., with visibility dropping as low as a quarter of a mile. Snow has also reached Winnipeg, Manitoba. Click here for Canada radar.
9:49 a.m. EDT Thursday: Carrington, N.D., has received 2.0 inches of snow.
9:35 a.m. EDT Thursday: Photos of the snowstorm
8:45 a.m. EDT Thursday: One tree snapped and several large branches have fallen under the weight of 3.5 inches of snow in Grand Forks, N.D. Trees are still bearing leaves in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, so this may be a problem in other areas today.
7:51 a.m. EDT Thursday: Argyle, Minn. has received 2.2 inches of snow thus far.
7:36 a.m. EDT Thursday: "The heaviest snow band is running from north of Fargo through Grand Forks, N.D. to Karlstad, MN. Rates generally 1/2 to 1" per hour," tweeted AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity.
7:18 a.m. EDT Thursday: Estimates of 2.5 to 3.0 inches of snow so far this morning in Lankin, N.D.
7:15 a.m. EDT Thursday: Snow is becoming heavier in Fargo, N.D., reducing the visibility to 3/4 of a mile. The highest wind gust measured so far this morning in Fargo was 47 mph.
5:15 a.m. EDT Thursday: A swath of moderate to heavy snow extends from eastern North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota. Temperatures near freezing with wind gusts to 40 mph.
3:10 a.m. EDT Thursday: Cold air is wrapping around the strengthening storm. Now snowing in Aberdeen, S.D., while still raining in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
2:45 a.m. EDT Thursday: Radar lighting up just north of Grand Forks, N.D., as a low deepens. Some of the yellows and oranges on radar are an indication of "bright-banding" which occurs when it is sleeting above the ground. Therefore, although it is still raining in many places, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a wind-whipped snow!
1:15 a.m. EDT Thursday: Rain is expected to change to snow across eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota in the next several hours. The snow can be heavy at times. Gusty winds in excess of 40-mph can also cause blowing an drifting.
1 a.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 4: The temperature in Denver is now 38 degrees after a high of 83 earlier Wednesday afternoon! The precipitous plunge included a drop of 18 degrees in 1 hour and 5 degrees in 5 minutes!
Wednesday, Oct. 3: The strengthening storm dumped 2.3 inches of snow on Billings, Mont., setting an new record snowfall for the date.
Cold air and flurries are in store for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday but should not significantly impact voter turnout.
Snow will pound New England on Monday as a coastal storm impacts the region.
Snow and slippery travel will arrive in the mid-Atlantic states prior to the middle of the week.
Chilly air will visit New Orleans this year for the annual Mardi Gras celebrations and linger over the city until later in the week.
Warmer air will build from California to Washington into Tuesday raising temperatures to near-record levels and increasing the risk of wildfires in some areas.
Denver Broncos fans celebrating the Super Bowl win will see ideal conditions for Tuesday's parade and pep rally.
Chicago, FL (1987)
Wind gusts of 65-70 mph from the north and northeast produced 15 foot waves on Lake Michigan. There were extensive shoreline erosion resulting in millions of dollars, and boulders 6 feet in diameter were pushed on shore.
60-80 mph winds from a powerful storm in the Pacific.
Seminole, TX (1933)
-23 degrees , Texas state record.