A freak snowstorm, dubbed ‘Snowtober’ in social media because of the storm’s unusually early appearance, has hit parts of the northeastern United States. It is commonly thought that the first large and widespread dumps of snow don’t usually occur before Thanksgiving in most places, certainly not before Halloween.
The freak storm is yet another extreme weather event in a year that has been one of the most extreme in the recorded history of US weather.
The storm dumped up to 32 inches or 81 centimeters in some places, reportedly breaking snowfall records in cities throughout the U.S. 13 deaths have been attributed to the storm, most from accidents on slippery roads.
There have been reports of snapped branches and power lines, and utilities struggling to turn lights and heat back on. Capital Weather Gang reported that the storm caused a record loss of power in Connecticut.
Many residents face the possibility of days without power. By early Monday, as many as 2 million were reportedly still without power. Officials have said it could be days before some residents have power back on.
Central Park in New York saw 2.9 inches of snow – the only time in recorded weather history that over an inch has fallen in the park in October. New York City is now pushing toward breaking the record for its wettest year on record, with 2011 being the third wettest so far.
Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center