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Weekly wrap-up: April snow blankets northeastern US; Satellite capture of blood red Nile River goes viral

Emerging spring flowers were coated by April snow showers on April 2-3 in the midwestern and northeastern United States thanks to an Alberta Clipper system.

The storm began Saturday morning across the Great Lakes, bringing up to 6 inches of snow to western Michigan, before moving eastward Saturday night and into Sunday, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee.

Most of the highest snowfall amounts found in New York and Pennsylvania ranged from 3-6 inches, while some areas in New England received as much as 6-8 inches, Vallee said.

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The system also brought damaging winds, which left over 370,000 without power from Wisconsin to Maine, according to NBC News. Two people were killed when a tree fell on their vehicle as they were driving in Abington, Massachusetts, on Sunday morning.

Warm air and high winds triggered another round of wildfires, which scorched thousands of acres, across the Plains this week.

The Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS) listed nine different wildfires that burned throughout the state this week. The largest of which was the 350 Complex Fire, which burned more than 57,400 acres.

"The fire was caused by power lines that arced in the high winds to come into contact with trees and grass Tuesday," the OFS said.

In Kansas, wildfires forced up to 150 residents to be evacuated from a mobile home park in Riley County. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared states of disaster emergency in Wabaunsee, Riley and Pottawatomie counties.

More than 40 people died in northwestern Pakistan this week as a result of severe flash flooding, the Associated Press reported. Another 34 were admitted to hospitals. According to BBC, the floodwaters also caused a bridge to collapse.

Another powerful tropical cyclone lashed Fiji this week, less than two months after Winston brought enormous devastation in late February.

At least one person was killed as a result of Tropical Cyclone Zena's flooding on the islands this week, according to the Fiji Times. At peak strength, Zena was the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins.

Several fascinating photographs from outer space were made available from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) this week.

Back in February, the ESA launched the new Sentinel-3A satellite and it recently began providing data from its orbit.

One of the images beamed back to Earth showed a blood red Nile River slicing through northeastern Africa. The red areas are vegetation as seen in infrared by the satellite's radiometer, the ESA said.

On Monday, NASA released an image of a dust devil spinning in a valley on the surface of Mars. The space agency's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured the image from the north-facing slope of a part of the planet named "Knudsen Ridge."

Dust devils are not an uncommon occurrence on Mars. Just like on Earth, they are created by a rising rotating column of hot air, NASA stated. The vortex becomes visible when the column whirls fast enough and picks up tiny grains of dust from the planet's surface.

Several AccuWeather meteorologists and staff writers contributed content to this article.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook.