1st-10th…A major low pressure system tracked through the Upper Midwest and into the Great Lakes on Friday. The associated cold front was draped from the central Gulf Coast through the Ohio Valley. Along the southern end of the front, morning rain and strong thunderstorms moved through the Southeast. As the front moved eastward, this precipitation waned as its main moisture source was cut off. The northern end of the front ushered moderate precipitation into the Ohio Valley and western New England. Closer to the low pressure center, scattered showers fell in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, while breezy conditions were also noted. Areas of freezing temperatures are possible in the Central Plains. A high pressure system in the western portion of the country provided dry conditions throughout the West. High fire danger was noted in the hills of Southern California and Red Flag Warnings were posted. The Northeast rose into the 50s and 60s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The Northern Plains rose into the 40s and 50s, while the Northwest saw temperatures in the 50s and 60s.
The first major snow storm hit the Rockies on Monday. A strong low pressure system developed over the Intermountain West created a cold front that kicked up wintry weather over the Western US. Most of the West saw cooler than usual conditions with highs only reaching into the 50s and 60s along the coast. This system pushed moisture well inland as it moved eastward overnight and triggered 2-4 feet on the north facing slopes of the Montana, with lighter accumulation, between 1-2 inches over most of the Northern and Central Rockies, with periods of heavy snowfall reported. A winter storm warning has been issued over the region, as Billings, Montana reported 4 inches of snow on Monday. The leading edge of this system stretched into the Plains, and also brought cool and wet weather to the region. The Northern Plains saw highs in the 40s with a quarter of inch of rain reported in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 1.19 inches of rain fell over Pierre, South Dakota. Overnight lows dropped well into freezing over most of the Northern Plains. The Central and Southern Plains remained dry on Monday with increasingly cloudy and windy conditions with the incoming front. Kalvesta, Kansas saw overcast skies and 28 mph winds with gusts up to 35 mph. Highs ranged from the upper 50s to upper 60s in the South. In the East, pleasant fall weather persisted over the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys as a small ridge of high pressure built in. However, in the Northeast, light and scattered showers persisted as a large low pressure system hovered over eastern Canada. To the South, a front lingered over the Gulf States and allowed for another day of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Alma, Georgia reported 0.78 inches of rain.
Cold and wet weather developed in the Upper Northwest on Wednesday as an Arctic cold front dropped across the Northern Rockies. Strong winds and areas of light to moderate snowfall accompanied the front and created periods of blowing snow and hazardous driving conditions for travelers. As the front trekked southeastward, a colder airmass began to pour in behind the system and yielded to colder daytime temperatures. To the south, low pressure in the Southwest kicked up pockets of light precipitation in the Four Corners. As this system shifted eastward and the aforementioned cold front draped across the Northern Rockies, scattered showers and thunderstorms developed in the Southern High Plains. Meanwhile, Gulf moisture fueled rainfall and thunderstorms in western Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas. Significant moisture and daytime heating heightened instability in these regions and created a chance for strong thunderstorms with hail, damaging winds and locally heavy rainfall. In the East, areas of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms developed from Texas through the Southeast. To the north, a strong low pressure system produced very strong northwest winds and precipitation across northern New England.
An interesting mix of weather common for early Fall tracked through the country on Friday. Most of this activity was produced by a long, slow-moving front that began the day stretched from the Southern Plains through the Great Lakes. As the day progressed, it moved eastward across the Mississippi Valley and into western New England. A tremendous amount of moisture streamed along the front from the Gulf of Mexico and produced widespread moderate to heavy rain through much of the region it passed over. A few thunderstorms developed ahead of the front and instigated Tornado Watches from Mississippi Valley through eastern Kentucky. While these thunderstorms did not produce any tornadoes into the afternoon, there were numerous reports of wind damage from Louisiana through Kentucky. Warm air streamed into the Southeast and pushed temperatures well into the 80s and 90s. Meanwhile, a tongue of cold air plunged southward into the Intermountain West and Northern Plains. This cold air greatly dampened daytime high temperatures in the area. Some snow showers did develop in the western Plains. The rest of the West remained dry ahead of a major storm that will slam into the West Coast after the weekend. The Northeast rose into the 50s and 60s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 80s and 90s. The Southern Plains rose into the 50s and 60s, while the Northwest saw temperatures in the 50s and 60s.
11th-17th…Wet and unsettling weather activity persisted throughout the southeastern quadrant of the nation on Monday. Numerous showers, thunderstorms, locally heavy rainfall, and strong to damaging winds developed from southeastern Texas to the Mid-Atlantic Coast as a trough of low pressure dipped across the Tennessee Valley and the Appalachians and a frontal boundary remained draped across the Central Gulf Coast. Abundant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and daytime heating heightened instability and weather activity intensity in the Southeast during the afternoon. Heavy concentrations of precipitation created risks of flash flooding, while strong thunderstorms created a chance for occasional cloud to ground lightning strikes. Meanwhile, another cold and gloomy day developed in the northern tier of the nation. Widespread clouds engulfed much of the Northern and Central Plains through the Northeast, while a cold high pressure system became stretched from the Upper Midwest through the Northeast. Areas of snow fell in the Upper Mississippi Valley, while daytime temperatures of the aforementioned regions remained at below seasonal averages. Dense cloud coverage also blanketed the Central and Southern Plains as a frontal boundary reached into the Central Plains on Monday. Moist air lifted over this frontal boundary produced areas of dense fog and drizzle in western Texas. In the West, energy and moisture from an approaching Pacific storm began to filter into the Pacific Northwest and California. Cloudy skies covered much of the coastal states, while increasing winds affected northern California through the afternoon. The threat of significant precipitation and possible isolated thunderstorms remained over the region.
Relatively inactive weather tracked through the country on Friday ahead of an active weekend in parts of the country. A long front draped across the Southeast and produced areas of showers and thunderstorms that slowly moved off the Gulf Coast and into the peninsula of Florida. Also, moist flow into the Northeast instigated areas of scattered showers in New England. A few early season snow showers also develop in the area but quickly diminished in the late afternoon. A few rain and snow showers were also noted in the Northern Plains but also waned into the afternoon. A Pacific storm also renewed some showers in the Northwest, but most of this precipitation fell in western Washington. After heavy rain early in the week, dry and hot conditions were dominant in the Southwest and California. The middle portion of the country was also dry. The Northeast rose into the 40s, while the Southeast saw a range of temperatures from the 50s to the 80s. The Northern Plains rose into the 30s and 40s, while the Southwest saw temperatures in the 80s, 90s, and some 100s.
18th-24th…Widespread clouds engulfed New Mexico and Colorado as an energetic low pressure system moved through northern New Mexico into the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma on Wednesday. Areas of light rain and snow showers continued to fall across New Mexico through the afternoon. Strong flow associated with this system spread into Colorado and produced a swath of light to moderate mixed precipitation in eastern Colorado. Heavy snowfall blanketed the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and the southern I-25 corridor from south of Colorado City to the the New Mexico Border. Gusty, northeast wind accompanied heavy snowfall, creating blowing and drifting snow with lowered visibilities. As the aforementioned system trekked toward southwestern Kansas, light to moderate, widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms developed in northern Texas, western and central Oklahoma, and Kansas. Persistent rainfall threatened these areas with localized flooding through the afternoon. Meanwhile, an associated front hammered the Central Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Upper Great Lakes with mixed precipitation and a few embedded thunderstorms as it became stretched from Kansas through northern Michigan. A wave of low pressure along the front kicked up heavy snowfall in northeastern Minnesota and significant rainfall in northern Wisconsin. Elsewhere, a cold front from the Eastern Pacific brought light showers and mostly cloudy skies to the Pacific Northwest as it moved across the Northwest Coast. California and the western halves of the Central Great Basin and the Southwest remained under seasonal weather conditions due to a flat ridge of high pressure located over the West Coast. High pressure located off the Mid-Atlantic Coast produced fair weather throughout much of the East, with warmer temperatures near the Mid-Atlantic shoreline.
25th-31st…A cold front continued tracking eastward through the country on Monday and allowed for heavy rains over the South. A low pressure system that developed over the Rockies and moved into the Great Lakes, while flow around this system created a frontal boundary that extended down the Mississippi Valley and into the Southern Plains. This forced ample moisture to pour in from the Gulf of Mexico, and allowed for showers and thunderstorms to develop over eastern Texas and Oklahoma as well as the Lower Mississippi Valley. In Lufkin, Texas, 2.02 inches of rain was reported and highs over the region only reached into the upper 50s and lower 60s. Some of these storms turned severe with strong wind gusts up to 81 mph reported in Christi, Texas. Lighter showers stretched toward the Great Lakes, with less than a tenth of an inch reported in most areas. However, heavy rains in the South have allowed for severe flooding problems over the Lower Mississippi region. Just to the east, a front pushed in from the Atlantic Ocean and kicked up light and scattered showers over the Mid-Atlantic states. Rainfall totals remained less than a tenth of an inch, but the region saw humid conditions with highs near 60. Moving up the East Coast, high pressure lingered over the Northeast and brought mostly sunny skies with cool conditions. Overnight lows dipped to freezing, while daytime highs hovered in the 40s. To the West, a trough of low pressure pushed over the Pacific Northwest and brought scattered showers with snow at higher elevations. A half of an inch of rain was reported at Locks, Oregon as up to 3 inches of snow fell over the Cascades and Northern Rockies. The rest of the West Coast remained sunny and warm on Monday.
A blustery day of winter weather developed in the West on Wednesday as a strong and cold trough of low pressure dug across the Four Corners. Cold air from the north plunged into the region and dampened daytime temperatures throughout the West. A considerable amount of moisture wrapped around the system to produce moderate to heavy snowfall across the higher elevations of the region, especially the Laramie Mountains in Wyoming, the Utah Mountain ranges, and the Central Rockies. Gusty winds accompanied wintry precipitation, increasing hazardous traveling conditions. Meanwhile, the frontal system associated with this trough moved into the Northern and Central Plains during the afternoon. Light snowfall and strong winds began to affect Nebraska, while a few light showers developed across the western Oklahoma Panhandle and the northwestern Texas Panhandle. In the East, a low pressure system trekked through the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic region produced fairly gloomy weather conditions from the Upper Great Lakes through the Northeast. Moderate to locally heavy rainfall developed throughout areas of New England.
The most notable storm that tracked through the country was a low pressure system that spilled out of the Rockies and into the Plains. This storm brought early season snowfall to the Central Rockies where many locations received over a foot of snow and some locations received nearly three feet of snow. This is a significant amount of snow for so early in the season. Various Winter Storm Warnings were in effect from northern New Mexico through North Dakota in anticipation of more snow. This storm was one of those interesting Fall storms that produced significant snow in the Rockies, while also also instigating widespread rain and thunderstorms in the Plains and Mississippi Valley. Tornado Watches were in effect in the Lower Mississippi Valley due to the possibility that some of the thunderstorms could turn severe. Rain also spread into the Upper Midwest and Upper Mississippi Valley as the day progressed. Cold air continued to spill into the Intermountain West and Rockies and actually plummeted as far south as New Mexico. Elsewhere, morning showers in the Northwest diminished as the day progressed, while a high pressure system kept conditions dry in the Northeast and along the rest of the eastern seaboard. The Northeast rose into the 40s and 50s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 70s, 80s, and some 90s. The Rockies rose into the 20s and 30s, while the Northwest saw temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
The storm that dropped a tremendous amount of early season snow on the Rockies on Wednesday and Thursday moved through the Plains on Friday. As it moved into the Upper Midwest, its associated cold front swept through the Mississippi Valley and instigated another round of tremendous precipitation. Moderate to heavy rain fell along the front from the Gulf Coast through the Upper Mississippi Valley. Some thunderstorms along the southern edge of the front were strong enough to allow Tornado Watches to be posted in parts of the Southeast. Flood Watches and Warnings were also posted from eastern Texas through the Upper Mississippi Valley due to the tremendous amount of rain that fell on the area. Snow showers did eventually stop in the Rockies, but cool air in the Rockies and Northern Plains dampened daytime high temperatures in the area. The storm also produced strong winds from the Northern Plains through the Appalachians.
High pressure along the eastern seaboard produced dry conditions for another day. The West also remained dry under a high pressure system. The Northeast rose into the 40s, 50s, and 60s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 70s, 80s, and some 90s. The Northern Plains rose into the 30s and 40s, while the Southwest saw temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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