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Blog

Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

9:30 AM | Some amazing early season snow and cold

Paul Dorian

lows[Record or near record lows from yesterday and this morning; data courtesy coolwx.com]

Discussion

Heavy snow fell this weekend throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which straddles the border region between Tennessee and North Carolina with up to nearly two feet reported in some of the highest elevation locations (e.g., 22 inches at Mt LeConte, TN). Heavy snow was also reported on sections of the Blue-Ridge Parkway connecting the Shenandoah National Park in southwestern Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Up to six inches of snow fell around Asheville, North Carolina while 3 inches were measured in Boone, North Carolina. Seven inches fell near Marshall, North Carolina (elevation 2280 feet) and up to 3 inches blanketed Bluefield, West Virginia.

Perhaps the most amazing feature about this weekend’s early season snow and cold was that accumulating snow fell in lower elevation locations across South Carolina and even was seen all the way to the coastline where Charleston saw its earliest snow on record. Columbia, South Carolina recorded its earliest snowfall ever (see picture below) with as much as 4.5 inches measured just southwest of the capital city. There have been only two other Novembers since the 1800s with snow accumulation in the city according to the National Weather Service. The previous benchmark for earliest snowfall in Columbia, SC was November 9, 1913.

Columbia [Snow-covered Columbia, South Carolina]

As the powerful storm that contributed to all of this early season snow and cold exited off to the northeast late yesterday, significant snow fell throughout much of Maine with a foot measured at Bangor and there was even some small snow accumulation in and around the Boston metro region. Bangor (12 inches) and Caribou (10.1 inches), Maine both set their record earliest double-digit snowfall days, besting records from Nov. 15, 1962 and Nov. 20, 1945, respectively, according to the National Weather Service office in Caribou.

In addition to the snow, cold was record-breaking in many southeastern US locations this weekend and into this morning. The plot above displays the widespread record or near record low temperature locations (blue circled regions) from yesterday morning and this morning (data courtesy coolwx.com). Some examples of record-setting cold on Sunday included Macon, Georgia at 29 degrees, Vero Beach, Florida at 41 degrees and Tampa, Florida recorded its lowest high temperature for the date at 67 degrees breaking a record held there since 1895. More record lows were set this morning in the Southeast US including Ocala, Florida at 37 degrees.