Record weather conditions across USA in the first half of October

Record weather conditions across USA in the first half of October

A strong early-season snowstorm pounded several parts of the United States in the first half of October. The unusual weather set records, with snowstorm blanketing the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains. Meanwhile, blizzard conditions have hit Dakota, while Denver dropped to a record low of -10 °C (13 °F). Widespread extreme wind events in California also prompted a massive power shut-off in the prevention of wind-induced wildfires.

On October 8, 2019, Spokane in Washington experienced a record 7.6 cm (3 inches) of snow, which torn down branches and trees. The storm also triggered power outages, affecting over 30 000 customers in the area on October 9.

Meanwhile, 40 cm (16 inches) of snow was recorded in Helena, bringing the two-week total of snow to 66 cm (26 inches) in Great Falls, Montana. The intense weather caused travel disruptions, leading to canceled flights and drivers struggling on the road.

In Denver, the second biggest temperature change on record was experienced by locals. It was also the city's largest temperature swing for the month of October.

From 28 °C (83 °F) on Wednesday afternoon, October 9, it dropped to -10 °C (13 °F) the next day, Thursday evening, October 10. The whopping difference tied for the second-largest temperature drop in Denver since 1872.

In addition, the record low of -10 °C (13 °F) on Wednesday, October 9 and - 12.7 °C (9 °F) on October 10 shattered the old records by 2.2 °C (4 °F) and 7.2 °C (13 °F), respectively. This is remarkable since most records are usually broken by just a degree or two regardless if it’s a record high or a record low, CBS reported.

The storm that grew into an all-out blizzard slammed into the Northern Plains on October 11. The snowstorm was the second in less than two weeks to hit the northern U.S. Snow started accumulating in towns across Northern Dakota, 48 hours later - 61 cm (2 feet) of snow had been reported. 

A strong, slow-moving coastal storm hit the upper mid-Atlantic and southern England coasts. Heavy rain, raging floodwaters, and harsh winds lashed the areas. The nor'easter eventually strengthened into Tropical Storm "Melissa."

Around 100 mm (4 inches) of rain was recorded in Nantucket, Massachusetts as of Saturday, October 12. Maximum gusts of 87 km/h (54 mph) were also experienced on the island.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) conducted power outages for almost 1 million customers in order to prevent wildfire risk due to strong winds. Dry conditions, gusts, and low humidity are said to be the factors contributing to the potential risk.

Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS

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