All Weather News

Early taste of winter

11 Oct 2009, 5:34 pm

The days are getting shorter and temperatures are dropping, but it has been a pretty drastic change for many in recent days–September was a rather warm month for many of us. Of course, there are exceptions. Texas, for example, had a chilly month. To be exact, the eighteenth coolest September on record. But California and Nevada experienced the warmest September in 115 years. North Dakota and Montana both came in at the third warmest September this year. Idaho came in at #4 in the record books. Utah? Fifth. Minnesota? Sixth. The list goes on. Life is all about give and take–and now it’s time to give, it seems. Time to make up for such a pleasantly warm September (well, at least pleasant for some–I’m sure Californians would disagree with the term ‘pleasantly’). October came around and we got whacked with Arctic air from Canada. Check out all the records lows across the country during this past week. It’s been frigid! Cut Bank, MT dipped to 3 degrees Saturday morning–breaking the previous record low of 10 degrees set in 1977.

Records lows set in the past week.
Records lows set in the past week.

So here we are. The “S” word is suddenly a part of our vocabulary again. Sure, most of us in the coldest areas of the country aren’t strangers to October snowfall, but it certainly is an

Snow Records: Past 2 Days
Snow Records: Past 2 Days

early start for the season. Take Minneapolis, for instance. Two to four inch accumulations of snow won’t be out of the question with this next winter storm taking shape. While it is unusually early to see measurable snow, it has happened before. The earliest measurable snow on record for the Twin Cities is .4 inches on September 24, 1985. October has had its fair share of measurable snow according to the record books in Minnesota–the 1991 Halloween Blizzard comes to mind when over 8 inches of snow fell in the Twin Cities. Yikes. Some parts of Nebraska just got slammed with a foot of snow (almost). North Platte pulled off an impressive 11.8″ yesterday breaking the previous snow record of 1.3″ in 1987. Way to go! Here’s some interesting October snow statistics that the National Weather Service pulled together:

North Platte
One Calendar Day
October Snowfall Total
Rank Month Snowfall
1 October 10, 2009 11.8
2 October 29, 1896 11.5
3 October 15, 1969 8.8
4 October 26, 1970 6.0
5 October 23, 2002 5.7
6 October 23, 1995 4.1
7 October 26, 1897 4.0
October 22, 1906 4.0
October 30, 1991 4.0
10 October 30, 1929 3.9
11 October 30, 1959 3.6

Snow’s acomin’! Get your winter clothes ready (if you haven’t already). More snow is in the works for the north central region of the U.S. The upper Midwest and the Northern Plains will yet again be experiencing winter weather. Some Columbus Day, eh?

Susie Martin

WeatherNation meteorologist

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