An early-season winter storm has engulfed the Central Plains and Midwest and will continue to spread this week.
In addition to the record cold, snow has been impacting much of Colorado today as the forward motion of the arctic front is impeded by the complex terrain. The snow is expected to start moving into the central Plains today, into the upper Midwest tonight, and across the Great Lakes on Thursday.
On Tuesday, October 29, the storm dumped more than 152 mm (6 inches) of snow to Denver. For this month, Denver has now received 317 mm (12 inches) of snow, making it the snowiest October since 2009 and 12th snowiest on record.
Winter storm Bessie, as named by The Weather Channel, has scattered light snowfall on October 30 from Colorado to northern Illinois.
Moreover, a burst of heavier snow moved through the Chicago metro area.
Western suburbs of the city saw 25 to 76 mm (1 to 3 inches) of accumulation.
Light snow in Denver is expected to continue throughout the day. Meanwhile, the Mile High City experienced around 196 mm (8 inches) of snow at Denver International Airport.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter weather advisories from eastern Colorado and northeast New Mexico eastward to northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa.
Very impressive surge of Arctic air across the western U.S.! Many areas are expected to have record low temperatures Wednesday morning, and these forecast lows would be new records for the date. pic.twitter.com/bS9Vwe9TDd— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) October 29, 2019
This #cold snap has smashed all-time October records in the West, including what appeared to be the Lower 48's coldest October temperature on record. https://t.co/bkLwXrHraJ pic.twitter.com/mzJZ2g32mb— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) October 30, 2019
Light to moderate snowfall during the daytime on Wednesday, October 30, could be experienced from the Colorado High Plains and theTexas Panhandle northeastward through Kansas, southern Nebraska, northern Missouri, southern Iowa, and northern Illinois.
Overnight, a mix of rain and snow could be seen from eastern Kansas and northern and western Missouri to southeast Iowa, western and northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northern Lower Michigan.
On Thursday, October 31, the area of low pressure is expected to strengthen near the Great Lakes, spreading cold air in parts of Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and northern Lower Michigan.
Through Thursday night, rain turning to snow could hit parts of the Great Lakes, including Indiana, Michigan, northern Ohio, and northwestern Pennsylvania.
The heaviest snow from this winter storm has already hit the Rockies. Additional accumulations farther to the east in the Midwest will be light to moderate through October 31, from parts of Kansas and southern Nebraska to northern Missouri, southern Iowa, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, western and northern Lower Michigan.
At least 152 mm (6 inches) of additional snow is expected to fall through Thursday.
Several daily record lows have been set in the West so far this week.
Some locations have set all-time October records lows, including Bozeman, Montana with -14 °C (6.8 °F) on October 29 and 30, Casper, Wyoming with -8 °C (17.6 °F) on October 29 and 30, Grand Junction, Colorado with 12 °C (53.6 °F) on October 30, Livingston, Montana with -12 °C (10.4 °F) on October 29, Rawlins, Wyoming with -20 °C (-4 °F) on October 30, Rock Springs, Wyoming with -6 °C (21.2 °F) on October 30, and Salt Lake City with 14 °C (57.2 °F) on October 30.
Temperatures in Peter Sinks, Utah (elevation 2 400 m / 8 000 feet a.s.l.) dropped to -37.1 °C (-34.7 °F) on October 28, 2019, setting a new national cold record for the month of October. This area is known for its cold winters, with the lowest temperature on record -56 °C (-69 °F) registered on February 1, 1985.
National October record (lower 48) smashed again at Peter Sinks this morning. Been to -45.5F. (-43.1C) so far. Watch out Alaska, your record is in jeopardy too! 3 hours yet before sunrise. Headed to nearby Middle Sink to "chase" the cold air. #utwx #akwx @NWS @NWSSaltLakeCity pic.twitter.com/xM2yQA4xZf— Timothy E. Wright (@wrighthydromet) October 30, 2019
In contrast to this, much above average temperatures continue to persist for the entire Eastern Seaboard where record high minimum temperatures are common, NWS forecasters noted.
This huge contrast in temperatures across the country, when combined with the anomalously amplified upper trough, will spawn a large-scale low pressure system along the frontal boundaries over the Deep South. The storm will then intensify rapidly and head toward the eastern U.S. on Halloween.
This storm has the potential to bring flooding rains from the interior Southeast through the Appalachians and New England on Halloween and into Friday morning. In addition, severe thunderstorms will be possible for the entire Mid-Atlantic region Thursday night into early on Friday ahead of a strong cold front.
Featured image credit: @WxTrackerDaryl/Twitter