OKLAHOMA CITY – Fall officially began on September 23, but clearly Mother Nature had other plans.
The first few days of the season haven’t felt much like fall at all for many across the United States. From snow storms to heat waves — hello? Did we miss something? What happened to mild temperatures and colorful leaves?
Here’s a look at three wild weather events that marked the start of season.
Record-breaking snowfall in the Northwest
“This has never happened, ever,” said Ray Greely, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Great Falls, Montana, about the September snowfall. The city got 9.7 inches of snow on September 28 — the highest one-day September snow amount in Great Falls history.
But that’s not where the craziness ends. Even higher amounts fell in other areas in Montana: Browning got 4 feet, the Dupuyer area got 37 inches and the Heart Butte area got 34 inches.
History was made in Missoula, where the city broke its September snowfall record of 1.5 inches set in 1934.
Spokane, Washington, got in on the action. The 1.9 inches of snow on September 28 broke the monthly record for September, set in 1926, of 1.4 inches, according to the weather service.
And a heat wave in the East
“You would imagine its sometime in early September, maybe even in the latter portion of August, because temps [are] running 10 to 15 degrees above average,” said CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri at the end of September, predicting that the summer heat would last into October.
He hasn’t been wrong. Nashville reached 97 degrees on October 1, making it the warmest October day in the city’s history.
And that’s not all. Pensacola, Florida, reached a high of 96 degrees on the same day, shattering the record high temperature for the month of October. Indianapolis, Asheville, North Carolina and Charleston, West Virginia, were among the dozens of other cities that broke October heat records with temperatures in the 90s on the first day of the month.
These hot temperatures should be dissipating in the next few days across the country.
Plus, a Category 5 hurricane, not where you think it’d be
Yes, you read that right. Former Hurricane Lorenzo strengthened into a Category 5 storm on September 28, before weakening into a Category 3 the next day.
But its (brief) strength isn’t the only thing that makes Lorenzo remarkable. It’s the strongest hurricane recorded so far north and east in the Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm has since headed to our neighbors across the pond, bringing wind and rain to Ireland and parts of the United Kingdom this week. Though the effects of the storm have largely died off, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said it was a rare event for the UK to have a wind storm from a system that was a hurricane.