Record Cold And Snow Already Sweeping The U.S.; Halloween Arctic Blast Approaches; + 104-Year-Old Low Temperature Record Broken In B.C.

Record Cold And Snow Already Sweeping U.S.

Both daily as well as monthly cold records fell over the weekend, particularly across the NW. From Washington to Wisconsin, hundreds of benchmarks have been busted, including a host of monthly lows for The Evergreen State as well as Oregon.

The first polar outbreak of the season went and dropped heavy snow, too, most notably to North Dakota where a record total accumulated at the state capital.

Thursday’s official measurement at Bismarck Airport of 8.5 inches smashed the city’s October 26 record of 3 inches set back in 1996 (solar minimum of cycle 22).

Bismarck’s storm total finished up at 8.8 inches, but other areas received much more: 11 inches was reported at Williston; 12 at Minot; 13 at New England; 14 at Hazen, Harvey and Washburn; and 15.5 at Stanley.

The early season snow caused widespread disruption, not least to farmers, many of whom are still getting their crops off the fields.

“There’s a lot of standing crop out there,” said Divide Country farmer Ely Hattel. “I don’t know what those guys are going to do.”

ND’s unseasonable snows and record-challenging lows are forecast to continue into the new week.

Switching focus to Colorado, one of the biggest October snow storms in recent memory dropped a foot in some parts of the Denver metro area. The official 6.5 inches logged at the airport makes this one of the snowiest Octobers on record.

Higher totals were posted elsewhere across the area, including the 10.4 inches at Aurora, and the 10.6 inches at Castle Pines.

The deepest snow was reserved for the high country where many areas measured more than foot (16 inches at Breckenridge). That is a rare amount of October snow even for the mountains.

All the fresh powder made for good conditions at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area which became the first ski area in Colorado to open (on Saturday).

Shifting north, the mercury has already dropped to record lows in parts of Montana, with some areas posting sub-zero (F) readings. Dropping below 0 in the depths of winter isn’t all-that that unusual, but in October it most certainly is.

With a thick (record-breaking) blanket of snow on the ground, the stage was set for a high pressure will move in and allow the mercury to fall to record/near lows in the 0s and -0s, even into the -10s (so around -24C).

The snow was also impressive.

“Montana never disappoints.”

Looking ahead, clear skies and the fresh snow on the ground will make for a very cold Monday night in the single digits (F).

The snow will also remain an issue for parts of Montana, and while the wind will be calm in valleys such as Helena, blowing snow will be a problem up on the Continental Divide, off the Rocky Mountain Front and out across central swaths of the state.

Halloween Arctic Blast Approaches

The Arctic blast isn’t done with the U.S. just yet — far from it.

The first half of Halloween week promises to deliver a widespread temperature crash with only Florida spared the freezing point.

The crash will be almost instantaneous with temperatures falling 20 degrees or more in mere hours, if not minutes.

The FOX Forecast Center has said: “The cold air invasion has already begun and will reach its maximum extent on Tuesday and Wednesday, as more than 240 million Americans feel the chill.”

The first polar plunge of the season will impact “about 70% of the nation … all of this just in time for Halloween,” said Ian Oliver, FOX Weather meteorologist. 

“Boston, you’re awfully close to the freezing mark as we move through the middle part of (this) week,” continued Oliver. “Pittsburgh, you’re below freezing. Same story for places like Detroit. That’s as that cold air moves in behind that powerful front.”

Communities in every state of the Lower 48 except Florida could seeing morning lows dip below the freezing point.

Even San Antonio in South Texas will endure its first real taste of winter before November even commences.

Record cold temperatures are expected here on Monday as cold air surges in. Temperatures could warm a bit on Tuesday, but it is still expected to be one of the region’s top five coldest Halloweens in recorded history 

New low temperature records will be busted across the U.S. with this one.

Stay tuned for updates.

GFS 2m Temperature Anomalies (C) Oct 29 – Nov 2 [].

104-Year-Old Low Temperature Record Broken In B.C.

Records have already been falling north of the border, too, across British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Starting in B.C., the first significant cold snap of the season broken temperature records across the province.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the mercury dropped to -8.6C (16.5F) in Merritt late last week, breaking the previous Oct 26 low record for the city that had stood since 1919.

Low temperature records were also felled at Burns Lake, with its -15.4C (4F) besting the old record of -10.6C (12.9F) set in 1971; in Smithers, with its -10.7C (12.7F) breaking the -8.9C (16F) set in 1969; in the coastal Bella Bella, with the -4.2C (24.4F) annihilating the old record of -0.6C (30.9F) from 2008; Port Hardy’s -4C (24.8F) beat 1970’s -2.2C (28F); and Squamish’s -2.5C (27.5F) pipped the -1.9C (28.6F) set in 2020.

Records have also been broken in Saskatchewan.

According to the ECCC,, records fell in the Elbow region with -14.7C (5.5F) besting the old record of –13.3C (8.1F) set in 1957; Kindersley posted -19.4C (-2.9F) smashing the old record of -15.6C (3.9F) set in 1942; and the Leader region plunged to -20.6C (-5.1F) comfortably breaking the -17.2C (1F) from 1951.

In the likes of Regina, temperatures are expected to remain significantly below seasonal for the foreseeable. The average daytime high for the Queen City for this time of year is around 8C (46.4F), the high on Friday was -4C (24.8F).

Heavy snow has also been falling across Canada in what the ECCC is calling ‘an abrupt start to winter’.

These fall flurries may have caused headache and frustration on Alberta roadways, but on nearby rocky mountain ski resorts it has been all smiles: “It’s definitely created quite the buzz,” said Leigha Stankewich, Lake Louise Ski Resort Manager (Alberta).

Down the highway, joy and optimism are the feelings at Sunshine Village, too, as wells at Nakiska Ski Area and Norquay.

“The weather forecast for the next week is cold, and that’s very good for snowmaking,” said Nakiska General Manager Jan Sekerak. “Here in Alberta, everything can change very fast, but it does look very optimistic.”

North America’s snow is aiding the hemisphere’s total snow mass readings…


…which are increasing above and beyond the 1982-2012 average:

Latest datapoints still to be added [FMI]

My apologies for the missing articles at the end of last week. My wife delivered our fourth child (and first girl) in the early hours of Thursday morning. Things were touch and go at times, but both pulled through and all is now looking very very positive.

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