Blizzard with Cloud-to-ground Lightning

Duluth, MN

April 10 to 12, 2008



Highlights

10 inches of dense soggy snow.

Frequent thunder sometimes multiple times per minute.

Cloud-to-ground lightning observed!

Wind gusts to around 60 mph including 62 mph at Duluth International Airport.

Discussion

Most of the snow fell between 11:30 PM CST and 6 AM CST from late evening April 10th to early morning the 11th. Lightning/thunder occurred up to several times a minute between midnight and 3 AM. The radar image below shows a band of heavy snow with thunder over Duluth at approximately 2 AM CST. The water vapor satellite image shows convection developing in northwest Wisconsin in the storm's mid-level dry slot rotating northwest into Duluth and the head of Lake Superior. As early as 7:30 PM, as the snow approached from the south, distant lightning could be seen flashing between the cloud layers. After a couple of hours of intermittent flurries at the start of the storm, steady snow began after 9:30 PM. Strong east to northeast winds funneling dry air into the head and north shore of Lake Superior delayed the onset of heavier snow.

At 12:58 AM, someone dropped a bomb from an airplane! Lightning struck the woods just on the north side of the street from where this observer was standing. Quite a jolt! Close call! Kids don't try this at home.

Steady mostly light snow fell during the day on the 11th through 3:30 PM. After that, only very light snow or flurries continued into the night and into the daylight morning hours of the 12th.


Storm images compliments of the National Weather Service and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, & Information Service

2:05 AM CST April 11th, 2008


9:45 PM CST April 10th, 2008