Spring Snow Blankets Parts of New England

The calendar may say it’s the middle of May, but winter is hanging on in parts of New England this week. A late-season nor’easter brought snow to portions of the region early this week. Hardest hit were the Green Mountains of Vermont. The town of Rochester, VT recorded 5.5 inches of snowfall by Tuesday morning, while Greensboro, VT measured 4.0 inches of snow. As the low pulls further to the northeast, some light snow is expected over northern Maine early Wednesday morning, but only minor accumulations are expected there.

Source: The New York Times

Source: The New York Times

Beyond this system, no snow is expected in New England in the foreseeable future. However, the weather pattern is expected to remain active with multiple chances of rain over the next couple of weeks.

Cyclone Fani Batters Parts of India and Bangladesh

While hurricane season has not yet begun in either the Atlantic Ocean or the Eastern or Central Pacific Ocean, cyclone season is underway in the Indian Ocean. Last weekend, Cyclone Fani made landfall in the Indian province of Odisha with winds of 127 mph, equivalent to a category 3 hurricane. Cyclones are rare Odisha, as Fani was the first one to strike the region in 43 years and just the third in the last 150 years.

Widespread destruction occurred across the province as well as in the neighboring country of Bangladesh. Tragically, 34 people were killed in India and 15 in Bangladesh as a result of the cyclone. However, the death total would have been far greater had it not been for the successful evacuation of over one million people from Odisha and over 1.6 million people from coastal Bangladesh.

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Fortunately for the battered region, no additional tropical systems will threaten the region in the foreseeable future. But the recovery efforts will be hampered by dangerous heat. Parts of the region will see high temperatures in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit each day this week.

Rare Late-Season Snowstorm Blankets Upper Midwest

Though it has been astronomical spring for over one month, winter still made its presence felt over much of the Upper Midwest last weekend. A rare, late-season snowstorm blanketed parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan last Saturday, with the heaviest snowfall occurring in northern Illinois. St. Charles, IL measured 6.0 inches of snow by early Sunday morning for the highest snow total in the region. Officially at Rockford International Airport, 3.7 inches of snow fell, which is Rockford’s largest snowstorm this late in the season and its latest measurable snowfall since 1994.

Even Chicago couldn’t escape the spring snowfall, as O’Hare Airport officially recorded 2.5 inches of snow. This was O’Hare’s latest single-day snowfall of 2” or greater and its latest measurable snowfall since 1989.

Source: National Weather Service, Chicago, IL

Source: National Weather Service, Chicago, IL

No more snow is expected over northern Illinois. However, multiple rounds of rain are expected over the next week, which has the potential to lead to flooding across much of the region.

Hurricane Michael Upgraded to Category 5

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida in the Panhandle region of the state, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. Tragically, 16 people lost their lives due to Michael while the storm left behind $25 billion in damage. This made Michael the 8th costliest hurricane in American history. Initially, it was believed that Michael made landfall as a category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. That made it the strongest hurricane to ever strike the Florida Panhandle.

Source: WRAL

Source: WRAL

However, upon further review, the National Hurricane Center determined that Michael was a category 5 hurricane at landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. The category 5 designation at landfall put Michael into rare territory, making it just the fourth hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland since 1900, and the first since Hurricane Andrew made landfall near Miami, FL in 1992. Michael was also the first category 5 hurricane to make landfall along the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Camille struck Mississippi in 1969.