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Winter Storm “Argos” batters US, three people dead


The snowstorms from Argos, the first winter storm of the season, have blanketed parts of the US and claimed lives of at least 3 people. Heavy snowfall caused widespread traffic disruptions and power outages since the end of the last week. The snow and wintry weather conditions are set to continue.

The eastern US states experienced the snowfall on November 19, 2016. 34.3 cm (13.5 inches) was recorded in Norfolk, Connecticut, 10.2 cm (4 inches) near Acton, Maine, 6.4 cm (2.5 inches) near Hi-Point, Maryland, 28 cm (11 inches) in Lenox Dale, Massachusetts, 12.7 cm (5 inches) near Pittsburg, New Hampshire, 17 cm (6.7 inches) in Highland Lakes, New Jersey, 58.4 cm (23 inches) north-northwest of Redfield, New York, 13.2 cm (5.2 inches) in Akron, Ohio, 38.6 cm (15.2 inches) in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, 45.7 cm (18 inches) in Woodford, Vermont, and 24.1 cm (9.5 inches) near Cortland, West Virginia.

In the Midwest, the storms brought strong wind gusts, and snow drifts up to 0.9 m (3 feet) in the period between November 17 and 19. Snow drifts were reported in Morris, Minnesota. In western Minnesota, widespread power outages were caused by a combination of intense snow storms and strong winds.

10.2 cm (4 inches) of snowfall was observed near Sioux Center in Iowa, 5 cm (2 inches) near Atwood, Kansas, 25.4 cm (10 inches) near Sigma, Michigan, 63 cm (24.8 inches) near Orr, Minnesota, 15.2 cm (6 inches) in Newport and near Sutherland, Nebraska, 14.8 cm near Whitewood, North Dakota, 24.1 cm (9.5 inches) in Parker, South Dakota, 18.5 cm (7.3 inches) in Gile, Wisconsin.

Video credit: Protect Mother Earth

Video credit: WCCO-CBS Minnesota

Video credit: Breaking Weather

Strong wind gusts were observed in the region, as well. 94.9 km/h (59 mph) was reported near Gruver in Iowa and at the Minneapolis International Airport in Minnesota, 127.1 km/h (79 mph) in Jackson, Michigan, 83.7 km/h (52 mph) near Glenvil and at the Hastings Municipal Airport, Nebraska, 114.3 km/h (71 mph) near Summit, South Dakota, and 90.1 km/h (56 mph) near Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.

In the West, intense snowfall was also reported. Between 25.4 and 50.8 cm (10 and 20 inches) was recorded in portions of Wyoming and south Montana, by the end of the last week. An amount of almost 50.8 cm (20 inches) snow was observed in Lander, Wyoming, during only one day, an amount that almost equals an entire season snow deficit.

The Salt Lake City reported snowstorm, accompanied by strong winds over the Great Salt Lake. Numerous accidents, including slide-offs, were reported across parts of the Interstate 70 in the Colorado Rockies on November 17, forcing road closures in the area. Interstate 80, between Cheyenne and Laramie, was also closed to traffic due to weather conditions.

31.7 cm (12.5 inches) of snow was reported near Skyway in Colorado, 20.3 cm (8 inches) near West Yellowstone, Idaho, 40.6 cm (16 inches) near Red Lodge, Montana, 22.9 cm (9 inches) near Grand County Airport, Utah, and 50.8 cm (20 inches) west of Lander, Wyoming.

Widespread power outages and traffic disruptions were reported. Three people died in weather-related incidents, according to media reports.

Pressure field over the US, November 21, 2016

Pressure field over the US, November 21, 2016. Image credit: NWS/NOAA/NCEP/WPC

Pressure field over the US, November 22, 2016

Pressure field over the US, November 22, 2016. Image credit: NWS/NOAA/NCEP/WPC

Pressure field over the US, November 23, 2016

Pressure field over the US, November 23, 2016. Image credit: NWS/NOAA/NCEP/WPC

The NWS forecasts the cold and windy weather will continue for another day across the northeastern US, with a large occluded low observed near Maine. The strong northwesterly winds at the rear of the system will continue producing cold weather and lake snow effect in the area between northern Michigan and the upstate New York. Several inches of snow accumulation are possible. 

The temperatures are expected to gradually pick up by the middle of the week. The western US can expect showers and mountain snow through the morning of November 22 (local time), as the Pacific storm system moves inland across the Intermountain West.

The highest amount of precipitation will likely affect the area between the northern Arizona and western Colorado. Locally, up to 15.2 cm (6 inches) will fall in the mountainous regions of Colorado.

More rain and mountain snow are in store for the Pacific Northwest by November 22, as the front approaches the area. A new surface low will develop east of the Rocky Mountains by the evening of November 21. The system will move across the central Plains, toward the Ohio Valley by the afternoon of November 23.

Widespread showers and strong to severe thunderstorms will affect the area from Gulf Coast to Illinois. The wintry weather with mixed precipitation is forecast near the transition zone, in the area across the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Featured image credit: Protect Mother Earth

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