Arbor Day celebrations have come and gone, but winter weather is gripping the Plains and Upper Midwest. The storm that dumped snow in the Rockies a day earlier is threatening to blanket parts of the region with up to 8 inches of snow on Thursday.
The National Weather Service warns: "Significant accumulations of snow continue to be reported across portions of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, with over 15 inches already in Dodge Center, (Minn.)."
Flooding continues to plague the upper Midwest, as waters crested at record highs in places and weary river-town residents watched the flood markers for signs of relief.
NPR's David Schaper, reporting from Chicago, tells our Newscast Unit that the Mississippi River continues to rise, overtopping small levees north of St. Louis. But he says some of the bigger problems are in Illinois, near the town of Peoria, where "many roads, homes and businesses are flooded, and dozens of Peoria-area residents have been evacuated."
"Sandy has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names by the World Meteorological Organization's hurricane committee because of the extreme impacts it caused from Jamaica and Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic United States in October 2012," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration writes.
We almost feel guilty writing this post, because here in Washington, we're finally seeing some spring (the cherry blossoms have reached full bloom!): But in the Plains, a spring storm is bringing snow to Colorado and Wyoming and whipped up enough winds to cover parts of Arizona in dust.