MINOT, N.D. -- Minot was hit hard during last week's multi-day blizzard, not only buried in snow drifts that were measured in several feet, but seemingly breaking their snowstorm snowfall total with a report of 36 inches.
The record snowstorm for Minot is 34 inches set during a storm in April 1984 that ended on the 28th.
Record broken, right? Wrong…
The National Weather Service verified the 36-inch snowfall report in town.
"While there is inherent difficulty in snow measurements when heavy snow combines with high winds, there is no reason to doubt this as a reasonable estimate based on the number of measurements and pictures this observer provided to NWS Bismarck," NWS officials wrote.
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But the agency says that snow total won't qualify as the official town record because it didn't fall at the official climate site in Minot.
The official site sits 6 miles away from the 36-inch snowfall total report, and that site "only" reported 20 inches of snow during the event.
"In order to ensure a reliable climate record, even valid public reports from other locations cannot be used to assign new records," NWS said. In other words, they have to keep records at the same site otherwise variability in terrain and storm progression would lend to inconsistencies in record keeping.
Thus the 36-inch snowfall total will be verified as an actual snowfall total in Minot during the storm, but the record snowfall for Minot will remain at 34 inches.
Some Snow Records Did Fall
Record or not, the blizzard will provide lasting memories for those who went through three days of non-stop heavy snow and blistering wind.
And there was some rewriting of record books. Dunn, N.D. set a daily all-time snowfall record of 26 inches on April 13, while Grand Forks did the same with 18.9 inches.
Bottineau's 27.5 inches set a two-day snowfall record, breaking the old record of 24.8 inches from December, 2016.
Bismarck has broken their all-time April record snowfall with 21.9 inches of snow so far in 2022, breaking the old record of 21.8 inches set in 2013, and there may still be more snow yet to come before the month ends.
Other Impressive Snow Totals:
Many towns reported over 2 feet of snow, even if it wasn't an official record:
60 mph wind gusts too…
Aside from the heavy snow, fierce winds blasted the region over the three-day storm, resulting in near white-out conditions for hours.
North Dakota's Department of Transportation issued advisories against traveling in the state. Interstate 94 was closed from the Montana border to Jamestown for more than a day.
According to the National Weather Service, Minot's three feet of snow was paired with a peak gust of 63 mph. Hettinger, Rolla and Sand Creek also clocked gusts at 60 mph or greater, while Dickinson hit 59 mph.
Bismarck hit a gust of 51 mph.
Heavy snow totals were not just confined to North Dakota. Montana felt the brunt of the storm with a station at Pony, Montana in the mountains picking up 47 inches during the blizzard while Red Lodge tallied 27 inches.
Billings received 13.9 inches of snow in one data during the storm, making it their snowiest April day since at least 1955.