1st-8th…In conjunction with a complex storm system, wet weather gradually engulfed the western half of the nation. Some of the most important rain fell at week’s end across drought stricken portions of the central and southern Plains. Storm-total rainfall ranged from 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, from central Texas into central Oklahoma. Beneficial rain also fell in winter wheat areas of the northern High Plains, which had trended dry in recent weeks. Most of the West also received substantial precipitation, curtailing fieldwork but boosting topsoil moisture and helping to establish high-elevation snow packs.
Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10°F below normal in
California. In contrast, dry weather promoted Midwestern summer crop maturation and harvesting. In fact, late-season warmth elevated weekly temperatures 10 to 20F above normal in the north-central U.S. The Southeast also experienced a full week of open weather, except for late-week downpours in parts of Florida. Elsewhere, dry conditions gradually returned to the lower Great Lakes region and the Northeast, following a protracted period of cool, damp weather. Early in the week, record-setting warmth covered the central U.S. Rapid City, SD, set a monthly record with a high of 96°F on October 2. Previously, Rapid City’s highest October reading of 94°F had occurred on October 1, 2005, and several earlier dates. Elsewhere in the Dakotas, Dickinson, ND (95F), posted a daily-record high for October 2. The following day, Hill City, KS (96F on October 3), also notched a daily-record high. In stark contrast, the week opened with chilly air in place across the South and East. Daily-record lows for October 2 included 37F in Greenwood, MS, and 38F in El Dorado, AR. On October 3, El Dorado again recorded 38°F, while Macon, GA, dipped to 39F. By mid-week, a new surge of record-setting warmth overspread the north-central U.S. Pierre, SD, logged a daily-record high for October 4, followed the next day by records in Grand Forks, ND (89F), and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (88F). High winds accompanied the warmth, with gusts topping 60 mph at many locations on the Plains on October 6-7. During the second half of the week, sharply cooler air engulfed the West. Ely, NV (30F), reported its first freeze (and first measurable snowfall, 2.6 inches) of the season on October 5. Ely’s only later observance of the season’s first freeze had occurred on October 13, 1963. Late-week lows dipped to daily-record levels in locations such as Gateway, CO (29°F on October 7), and Douglas, AZ (35F on October 8). Farther east, record-setting warmth arrived in the Northeast, where Portland, ME (81, 85, and 81F), posted a trio of daily-record highs from October 8-10. In addition, enough warmth lingered in Green Bay, WI, to result in the longest October stretch of 70-degree weather on record. Green Bay’s warm spell lasted 10 days, from October 3-12, surpassing the 9-day streak of 70-degree days that had been established from October 14-22, 1947. Early-week snow dusted parts of the Appalachians, with more than 6 inches reported on a few peaks in West Virginia. With a half-inch of snow on October 1, Beech Mountain, NC, set a record for the earliest measurable snow in North Carolina (previously, 4.0 inches atop Mt. Mitchell on October 5, 1980).
By October 3, heavy precipitation arrived along the Pacific Coast. Ukiah, CA, netted consecutive daily-record amounts on October 3-4, totaling 2.35 inches. During the first 6 days of the month, 4.40 inches soaked Crescent City, CA. On October 5, another surge of moisture resulted in daily-record totals in locations such as Stanley, ID (1.39 inches), and downtown Los Angeles, CA (1.15 inches). Later in Wyoming, daily-record snowfall amounts reached 8.7 inches (on October 7) in Riverton and 6.0 inches (on October 8) in Cheyenne. Riverton’s October 6-7 storm-total snowfall climbed to 10.9 inches. Elsewhere in Wyoming, Sheridan (1.79 inches on October 7) experienced its wettest October day on record (previously, 1.60 inches on October 30, 1974). In Nebraska, Kearney’s October 6-9 rainfall reached 4.82 inches. Farther south, daily-record totals in Texas for October 8 included 3.57 inches in Abilene and 3.26 inches in Wichita Falls. The heavy rain continued into the following day, when record-setting amounts for October 9 reached 5.83 inches in Waco, TX, and 2.71 inches in Oklahoma City, OK. Farther east, a low-pressure system near the southern Atlantic Coast generated late-week downpours and high winds. From October 6-9, Vero Beach, FL, received 11.86 inches of rain and recorded a peak wind gust to 52 mph. The majority (8.30 inches) of Vero Beach’s rain fell on October 8, representing its second-wettest day on record behind 8.82 inches on January 21, 1957. Melbourne, FL, experienced its second wettest October day (5.68 inches) on October 8, followed by a wind gust to 54 mph on October 9. Melbourne’s only wetter
October day occurred on October 17, 1956, when 6.03 inches fell.
9th-15th…The nation saw some active weather on Tuesday with precipitation in the Southeast through the Northwest. Precipitation in the Southeast was mainly due to a storm which slowly drifted up the eastern seaboard. This storm brought heavy rainfall to portions of the region from Georgia through the Carolinas. Today's rainfall totals brought the accumulated precipitation from the past few days to over 5 inches in some locations. A high surf warning for the coast was cancelled, but the risk for rip currents remains along the entire southeastern coast. The Northwest also saw some significant precipitation on Tuesday. Heavy rainfall was reported throughout the Cascades and over the Olympic Peninsula. The entire Puget Sound region also saw precipitation, but with mostly drizzle and light rain. The region's precipitation was caused by a Pacific storm that slammed into Southern Alaska. In addition to heavy rain, strong winds brought high surf to the coast, and some of the highest elevations saw snowfall. The Plains also saw wet weather on Tuesday as a weak trough in the upper atmosphere stretched across the region. Precipitation was generally isolated, but some heavy downpours were reported. Elsewhere, conditions were generally pleasant with warm weather and clear skies in the Northeast and northern Plains. Cloud cover began in increase in the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England by late afternoon, but New England remained clear.
16th-22nd…Unsettled weather continued in the eastern half of the nation on Wednesday as a deepening low over eastern Kentucky absorbed low pressure from the Southeast. These systems pulled in ample moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic Ocean as they began to merge during the afternoon and produced showers, periods of heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong wind in areas from the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley through parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Some storms in the Mid-Atlantic had the potential to turn severe. The main concerns with these storms were hail, damaging wind gusts, and tornadoes or waterspouts. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms continued ahead of an associated cold front that reached through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. In the West, a trough of low pressure moved through the Pacific Northwest today. Onshore flow associated with this system pushed marine air into the coastal and inland valleys. This transition resulted in cooler temperatures and increased cloud cover throughout the region.
23rd-31st…Another day of generally quiet weather was underway across the country on Tuesday though a few areas of the nation saw some precipitation. The largest and most intense area of precipitation was located in lower portion of Michigan as well as portions of Wisconsin. Rain spread from around Green Bay across lake Michigan and the peninsula into Lake Huron. The Heaviest rain fell in the Vicinity of Traverse City through Grayling State Forest, where rainfall totals of half an inch to over an inch were reported. Radar estimates of precipitation in the region were even higher. Lighter precipitation had moved across Canada and into New York as well. Elsewhere in the East, clear skies remained in place from the Southeast through coastal New England, though the Canadian Border region saw clouds push south throughout the day. Beneath the sunny skies, temperatures were generally pleasant, with highs reaching into the upper 50s and 60s in New England with 70s reported in the Southeast. Even the deep south saw pleasant conditions with highs in the upper 70s reported for most locations. Across the Plains, similarly pleasant weather was recorded, but in the Rockies, cloud cover began to build and several areas of precipitation were noted. The Northern Rockies in Montana saw snow showers around the Bitterroot mountains and into Helena while to the south, Colorado and Utah saw showers and a few thunderstorms. The storms in the Rockies generally moved quickly enough to keep flash flooding concerns at bay. In the West, conditions along the coast cleared out substantially as high pressure built in behind a departing trough of low pressure. As the skies cleared, winds calmed down and temperatures began to rise, signaling the start of another round of summer like weather for the West Coast.
A strong storm system and cold air mass continued to impact this Colorado and the Central Rockies with showers, thunderstorms, snow showers, periods of heavy snowfall, and strong wind gusts through the afternoon. As of this afternoon, snow totals in parts of Colorado range up to about 4.5 inches and up to 1 foot in higher elevations. Various Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Weather Advisories, and Freeze Watches and Warnings remained in effect for much of Colorado and parts of northern New Mexico. Meanwhile, additional showers formed ahead of associated cold fronts in parts of northeastern Arizona and northern New Mexico, while cold temperatures remained over much of the Intermountain West. A few light showers also formed in the Pacific Northwest, ahead of an advancing cold front. While much of today's precipitation remained focused in the West, some showers also developed ahead of a cold front that extended from the Southern Plains through the Lower Great Lakes. Afternoon showers were embedded in cloud cover from the southern regions of the Mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valley into the northern Mid-Atlantic. Showers also continued in New York, ahead of a warm front lifting into the Northeast.
A strong early season winter storm developed across the eastern US as a low pressure system moved in from the Mississippi Valley. Counter-clockwise flow around this system pulled in ample moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time, the back side of this system pulled in cool air from Canada. This combination produced a large swath of snow that stretched from the Central Appalachians through New England. Coastal areas remained warmer, moderated by the ocean temperature, and saw 1 to 2 inches of rain. However, most of the region saw snowfall accumulation between 3 to 7 inches, while up to 12 inches have been reported at highest elevations. This heavy wet snow caused damage to tree limbs and power lines across the Northeast, especially since most of the trees still have their leaves. Heaviest rainfall along the coasts was reported at Wallops Island, Virginia with a mid-day total of 1.83 inches of rain.
To the south, a cold front extended southward from this system and remained just offshore as it stretched down the East Coast, over Florida, and into the Gulf of Mexico. The warm and humid conditions over Florida allowed for scattered thunderstorms to pop up along the frontal boundary. Heaviest rainfall was reported in Naples, Florida with a mid-day total of 1.35 inches of rain. Out West, scattered rain and snow showers diminished over the Northern Rockies as a trough of low pressure quickly moved into the Northern Plains. Cool overnight temperatures produced a few snow showers that lingered into the early morning hours across the Dakotas, which turned into daytime rain showers. Total accumulation of this wintry mix of precipitation remained light at less than a half of an inch.
Weather Underground midday recap for Monday, October 31, 2011. After a very busy weekend in the Northeast, relatively calm weather greeted the country on Monday. The most active storm rolled through the Upper Midwest where it produced mostly rain from the Great Lakes through Illinois.
Meanwhile, a high pressure system moved along the eastern seaboard, producing dry conditions from the Southeast through the Northeast. The one exception to this was in Florida where significant rain and thunderstorms developed once again. This has been a particularly wet few days in the Sunshine State due to very moist tropical flow off the Gulf of Mexico. Many cities in the state received several inches of rain with Cocoa Beach reporting over a half of foot.
The West was mostly dry and mild, with the only active storm in the Northwest. Scattered rain was noticed from Washington through Montana, but was not widespread in nature.
The Northeast continued to be cool with temperatures in the 40s and 50s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The Plains rose into the 70s and 80s, while the Southwest saw similar temperatures. The Northwest rose into the 40s and 50s.
After a very busy weekend in the Northeast, relatively calm weather greeted the country on Monday. The most active storm rolled through the Upper Midwest where it produced mostly rain from the Great Lakes through Illinois. Meanwhile, a high pressure system moved along the eastern seaboard, producing dry conditions from the Southeast through the Northeast. The one exception to this was in Florida where significant rain and thunderstorms developed once again. This has been a particularly wet few days in the Sunshine State due to very moist tropical flow off the Gulf of Mexico. Many cities in the state received several inches of rain with Cocoa Beach reporting over a half of foot. The West was mostly dry and mild, with the only active storm in the Northwest. Scattered rain was noticed from Washington through Montana, but was not widespread in nature. The Northeast continued to be cool with temperatures in the 40s and 50s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The Plains rose into the 70s and 80s, while the Southwest saw similar temperatures. The Northwest rose into the 40s and 50s.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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