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Old November 7th 19, 03:41 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default October 2019 Global Weather Highlights



The first two days of the month featured record warmth from New Orleans to New York City as millions sweltered in conditions more typical of July (1st-2nd). Temperatures in the 90s F were widespread across the region. The extreme temperatures on Wednesday forced some school districts across the region to dismiss classes early or to cancel classes entirely. On Tuesday alone, over 30 cities set new all-time high temperatures for the month of October. The heat turned up even more on Wednesday with several cities breaking monthly temperature records set just 24 hours earlier. New Orleans was one of these cities, hitting 96F on Wednesday, breaking the old October temperature record of 95F set on Tuesday. Birmingham, Alabama, topped out at a record-shattering 103F on Wednesday; however, the National Weather Service is investigating to verify the record. If it holds, it would not only be the hottest day of the year for the city, but it would fall just 2 deg F shy of the highest temperature ever observed east of the Mississippi River during the month of October. The heat on Wednesday in Birmingham easily, if the temperature record is verified, exceeded anything the city experienced even in the middle of summer this year.

It may be early October, but parts of the northern United States have been transformed into a winter wonderland as an early-season snowstorm unloads record-setting snow across the region (8-9th). This is the second storm in less than two weeks to spread snow over parts of the northern USA. However, unlike the late-September storm, this new storm is stronger and forecast to evolve into a full-on blizzard by week's end. Snow started to fall on Tuesday from the Cascades to the northern Rockies as the storm began to unfold. Spokane, Washington, was one town that was hit particularly hard by the snow on Tuesday. A record-breaking 3.3 inches of snow fell, the first measurable snow in the month of October since 2001. It also made this month the third-snowiest October on record, following 3.9 inches in October of 1975 and 6.1 inches in October of 1957. This contributed to the 30,000 power outages across the Spokane area on Wednesday morning. The unusual early-season snow combined with the power outages caused the Spokane School District to close on Wednesday. By Wednesday morning, the worst of the storm had shifted east, focusing on Montana. One of the snowiest spots was just south of Helena, Montana, where a National Weather Service trained spotter measured over 16 inches of snow and ‘significant drifting.' Snow from this storm brought the two-week snow total in Great Falls, Montana, to over 26 inches. This is more snow than the city received from September through December of last year.

A herd of ravenous goats played a role in saving the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library after a fresh wildfire erupted Wednesday near Simi Valley in Southern California, forcing officials to order evacuations of nearby homes (31st). In addition the firefighters and aircraft crews that responded Wednesday, a hungry herd of as many as 500 goats had helped create a firebreak months ago in the brush that surrounds the hilltop complex, officials said. The goats last spring ate up vegetation that could have fueled the fire. "One of the firefighters mentioned that they do believe the goats' fire line helped them fight this fire," library spokeswoman Melissa Giller said. "They just proved today how useful they really are." Named the Easy Fire, the blaze - one of several California wildfires burning in dry and windy conditions - began Wednesday morning in the hills near Simi Valley and has already burned 1,300 acres, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. It threatened 6,500 homes and forced school closures.


The 2019 southwest monsoon over the Indian subcontinent finally began to withdraw, lagging more than a month behind normal and setting a new record delay (9th). This year's monsoon had already moved into uncharted territory last week when it surpassed the previous record late start of the withdrawal which took place on 1 October 1961, according to the India Meteorological Department. Further advancement of the withdrawal is expected across northern and north-central parts of the country in the coming days. Dry air pushed into New Delhi and the National Capital Region earlier this week, and that pattern will hold for the next several weeks. Despite the monsoon withdrawal beginning in the far northwest, weeks of additional rainfall is expected in southern parts of the country as the dry air slowly builds from northwest to southeast. In addition to its historic duration, this year's monsoon has also gone down as one of the wettest in recent decades with 110% of normal rainfall reported across the country as a whole from June through September. This is the wettest monsoon season since 1994 based on government data. What makes this season's surplus of rainfall even more dramatic is that a 33% shortage compared to normal was reported across the country during the month of June.


Eastern and central Europe have experienced unseasonably warm conditions in the last two weeks( 21st). Temperatures across much of the Balkans region have been more than 10 deg C above normal for this time of year. In Belgrade, Serbia, 27C has been exceeded several times this week the average maximum temperature for late October is 17C.


A man's body has been found and five people are missing after flooding hit parts of north-east Spain (23rd). Flash floods in northern Italy left two people dead on Tuesday and roads in the south of France were blocked as rivers burst their banks. Parts of Narbonne Plage and Beziers were inundated by floodwater. Ten departments in southern France were placed on orange alert.. Cars were submerged and the waters of the River Orb rose dangerously beneath a historic bridge in Beziers as the town saw 198 mm fall - or the equivalent of two months' average rainfall - in just six hours on Wednesday morning. Meteorologists said the Herault area saw 240 mm of rain in the past 24 hours, a 50-year record. Local prefect Jacques Witkowski told reporters that shelter had been given to more than 1,000 people whose homes had been flooded. In Spain, the area around Tarragona was among the worst affected. The roof of the baroque church at Savalla del Comtat caved in. Meteorologists blamed the torrential rain on a cold front known as a high-level isolated depression. Torrential rain also caused major disruption in northern Italy. Two people died and the Piedmont region asked for a state of emergency to be declared in the Alessandria area.


A super typhoon in the Pacific Ocean could hit Japan on Saturday, potentially causing grave damage in Tokyo, experts said (9th). The center of Super Typhoon Hagibis was roughly 950 miles south of Tokyo as of Thursday morning local time. The storm was moving about nine miles per hour to the north, and expected to pass along the east coast of Japan on Saturday evening, he said. The fastest sustained winds of the storm, as estimated by satellites, were 160 mph, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane; a storm with sustained winds of over 150 mph is classified as a super typhoon. One side effect of the typhoon is that games have been cancelled in the Rugby Union World Cup, meaning that Italy (and possibly Scotland) will be eliminated from the tournament as a result.

Rescuers were searching for survivors in Japan in the wake of super-typhoon Hagibis, which has already claimed 40 lives (14th). The storm, which over the weekend dumped 40% of average annual rainfall on some areas, caused at least 25 rivers across the country to burst their banks, leading to vast tracts of land being flooded. By Monday at least 16 people were still missing and 200 were confirmed injured. Hagibis had made landfall in Japan just before 7 p.m. local time on Saturday, 12 October, moving ashore near Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture with winds of the equivalent strength as a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean basins. NHK reported that a record level of nearly 1,000 mm of rain, from the storm had fallen over Hakone Town in the Kanagawa Prefecture over a time span of 48 hours. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued level 5 heavy rain emergencies the highest level of warning in the JMA's five-level warning system across at least seven prefectures during the height of the storm. Observations from Tokyo recorded 209 mm of rainfall and a maximum wind gust of 150 km/h. The heavy rainfall also caused at least 140 mudslides across the country damaging buildings and making roadways impassible. Tens of thousands of personnel from the Self-Defense Forces, Coast Guard, police and fire departments were deployed as emergency crews attempted to rescue some people still trapped on the upper floors of homes and other buildings in the worst affected areas. Teams were also digging through mud and landslides, as well as searching swollen rivers for the missing. Nagano Prefecture in central Japan was one of the worst-hit areas. Both the Chikuma and Abukuma rivers burst their banks and floodwaters topped four meters in places, according to the Japan Geospatial Information Authority. A five-kilometer stretch near the Chikuma River was flooded. In Saitama's Higashi Matsuyama city, northwest of Tokyo, rice and flower farmers were counting their losses, with water submerging warehouses full of freshly harvested produce.

Tropical storm Nestor made landfall on St. Vincent Island, a nature preserve off of Florida's northern Gulf Coast (19th). Tornado victims are starting the recovery process after 8 reported tornadoes were spawned by Nestor. There were six tornadoes in Florida on Friday and two tornadoes on Saturday, one in Florida and one in Georgia. Tornado damage was also reported near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A confirmed tornado was reported near Lakeland, Florida on Friday night. There were reports of damage to homes and a church in Kathleen, Florida, which is located just northwest of Lakeland.

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