Meteorological events that happened on October 31st:
87 pioneers were trapped by early snows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that piled 5 feet deep, with 30 to 40 foot drifts. Just 47 people survived the "Donner Pass Tragedy".
Viewed to be the worst cyclone that moved across the Bay of Bengal during the 19th Century, the Backergunge Cyclone devastated the northeast coast of India, killing 100,000 people. The city of Backergunge, (now Bangladesh) was inundated by the 10 to 50 foot storm surge, destroying nearly all of its 1,700 buildings. Experts contend that a cyclone similar to the Backergunge storm today might kill one million people.
Brownsville, TX reported 15.71 inches of rain for the month, nearly five times their average.
Weather records have been kept at Charlotte, NC since 1878. The only snow ever to occur there in October happened on this date.
A Caribbean hurricane crossed Cuba then moved north and made landfall at the North Carolina/South Carolina border. The hurricane became extra-tropical in Virginia, then curved across southeast Pennsylvania and moved into New England and the Canadian Maritimes. The highest wind gusts were measured to 84 mph at Cape Henry, VA, 82 mph at the Delaware Breakwater, DE and 60 mph at Norfolk, VA.
The longest dry spell every recorded in the world began in Arica, Chile in South America. The rainless period last over 14 years, finally ending in January, 1918.
Record low October temperature readings were set from northern New England down to the Mid-Atlantic to the Ohio Valley. Record lows included: Van Buren, ME: 1°, Garfield, VT: 2°, Pittsburg, NH: 4°, Houghton Lake, MI: 7, International Falls, MN: 12, Peoria, IL: 14, Rockford, IL: 14, Madison, WI: 16, Alpena, MI: 17, Burlington, VT: 17°, Syracuse, NY: 20°, Flint, MI: 20, South Bend, IN: 20-Tied, Dubuque, IA: 25-Tied, Allentown, PA: 22°, Avoca, PA: 22°, Springfield, IL: 22, Rochester, NY: 23°, Fort Wayne, IN: 23, Indianapolis, IN: 24, Buffalo, NY: 25°, Grand Rapids, MI: 25, Wilmington, DE: 25°-Tied and New York (Central Park), NY: 29°-Tied.
Unseasonably warm weather prevailed from the central states to the Mid- Atlantic and New England. The temperature soared to 83° at Minneapolis, MN, their warmest reading on record for so late in the season. Other record highs included: Concordia, KS: 88°, Topeka, KS: 88°, Macon, GA: 88°, Columbia, SC: 88°, Goodland, KS: 87°, Tulsa, OK: 87°, Columbia, MO: 87°, Kansas City, MO: 87°, Fort Smith, AR: 87°, Meridian, MS: 87°, Des Moines, IA: 86°, St. Louis, MO: 86°, Springfield, IL: 86°, Dodge City, KS: 86°-Tied, Wichita, KS: 85°, Little Rock, AR: 85°, Moline, IL: 85°, Peoria, IL: 85°, Evansville, IN: 85°, Paducah, KY: 85°, Memphis, TN: 85°, Nashville, TN: 85°, Augusta, GA: 85°, Charlotte, NC: 85°, Raleigh, NC: 85°, Richmond, VA: 85°, Washington, D.C.: 85°, Amarillo, TX: 85°-Tied, Dubuque, IA: 84°, Chicago, IL: 84°, Rockford, IL: 84°, Huntington, WV: 84°, Chattanooga, TN: 84°, Knoxville, TN: 84°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 84°, Greensboro, NC: 84°, Athens, GA: 84°-Tied, Omaha, NE: 83°, Springfield, MO: 83°, South Bend, IN: 83°, Columbus, OH: 83°, Beckley, WV: 83°, Oak Ridge, TN: 83°, Roanoke, VA: 83°-Tied, Lincoln, NE: 83°-Tied, Waterloo, IA: 83°-Tied, North Platte, NE: 82°, Fort Wayne, IN: 82°, Indianapolis, IN: 82°, Cleveland, OH: 82°, Lexington, KY: 82°-Tied, Allentown, PA: 81°, Harrisburg, PA: 81°, Cincinnati, OH: 81°-Tied, Milwaukee, WI: 80°, Milwaukee, WI: 80°, Toledo, OH: 80°, New York (LaGuardia Airport), NY: 80°, Dayton, OH: 80°-Tied, La Crosse, WI: 79°, Detroit, MI: 79°, Grand Rapids, MI: 79°, Akron, OH: 79°, Bristol, TN: 79°, Asheville, NC: 79°, Pittsburgh, PA: 79°-Tied, Rochester, MN: 78°, Flint, MI: 78°, Mansfield, OH: 78°, St. Cloud, MN: 77°, Sioux Falls, SD: 77°, Alpena, MI: 77°, Lansing, MI: 77°, Madison, WI: 77°-Tied, Elkins, WV: 77°-Tied, New York (Central Park), NY: 76°-Tied, Avoca, PA: 75°, Duluth, MN: 74°, Green Bay, WI: 74°, Marquette, MI: 74°, Bridgeport, CT: 73° and Buffalo, NY: 72°.
The 28-day dry streak came to an end at Philadelphia, PA. The streak still stands as the longest in their history.
Fort Lauderdale, FL was deluged with excessive rainfall for the second time in two weeks. 13.81 inches of rain fell over a two day period. More road and street damage occurred and some homes were flooded for the second time in as many weeks. This brought their rainfall total for the month to an all-time record of 42.43 inches.
Tollymore Forest, County Down, Ireland recorded the countries wettest day as 6.26 inches fell in 24 hours.
Prince Rupert recorded British Columbia Canada’s wettest month on record as 28.70 inches fell.
According to Tom Grazulis of the Tornado Project, there has only been one fatal aircraft accident involving a tornado. A tornado was nearby when a single-engine plane crashed south of Topeka, KS, on this date, killing all three people on board and two people on the ground. The airplane was about 10 miles south of the Topeka airport, and probably about a mile from the tornado as the pilot talked by radio to air traffic control. A minute later people in a house heard a crash in a nearby field, but thought it was debris from trailers they had seen the tornado hitting. They didn't investigate. The next morning the wreckage of the airplane was found in the field.
Halloween was a wet one in the southwestern U.S. Heavy rain in southern California resulted in numerous mudslides. Weather-related auto accidents resulted in three deaths and 25 injuries. Mount Wilson, CA received 3.14 inches of rain in 24 hours. Other rainfall totals included: 2.34 inches at Mt. Laguna, 1.28 inches at Alpine and 1.10 inches at El Cajon.
Yakima, WA reported measurable rainfall for the first time since the July 18th. The 103- day long dry spell is their longest on record.
Many cities in the northeastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. The low of 19° at Cleveland, OH and Fort Wayne, IN were records for October, and morning lows of 21° at Allentown, PA and 26° at Bridgeport CT tied October records. Other record lows included: Toledo, OH: 16°, Elkins, WV: 16°, Albany, NY: 18°, Binghamton, NY: 19°, Atlantic City, NY: 20°, Youngstown, OH: 20°, Detroit, MI: 21°, Rochester, NY: 21°, Williamsport, PA: 21°, Akron, OH: 22°, Mansfield, OH: 22°-Tied, Avoca, PA: 22°-Tied, Harrisburg, PA: 24°, Indianapolis, IN: 24°-Tied, Evansville, IN: 25°, Islip, NY: 29°, Paducah, KY: 29° and Jackson, KY: 37°.
A few cities in the southwestern U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date, including: Yuma, AZ: 98°, Phoenix, AZ: 96°, Borrego Springs, CA: 93°, Las Vegas, NV: 86°, Redding, CA: 80° and Winnemucca, NV: 76°.
Halloween night was a soggy one in New England. Showers in the northeastern U.S. produced more than an inch and a half of rain in 6 hours at some locations. An invasion of cold arctic air brought an abrupt end to a week of "Indian Summer" type weather in the Great Lakes Region, and brought snow and subzero wind chill readings to the Northern Plains. In Colorado, Alamosa was the cold spot in the nation with a record low of 2°, and a Halloween night storm brought 3 to 6 inches of snow to the Front Range, and 5 to 10 inches to the nearby foothills. Icy streets around Denver the next morning made for a rather spooky commute.
Meanwhile, record warmth continued at Alpena, MI where the high was 73°, the 7th consecutive record high at that location.
A severe winter storm, dubbed the Great Halloween Mega Storm, struck the upper Midwest. Minnesota bore the brunt of this storm. Blizzard conditions occurred with winds gusting frequently to 40 and 50 mph. By the time it was all over on November 2nd, Duluth recorded 37 inches, Minneapolis 28 inches, International Falls 18 inches and 11.2 inches in 24-hours at Sioux Falls, SD, their earliest heavy snowfall of 6 inches or more and snowiest October on record. For Duluth and Minneapolis, the snow amounts set new all-time records for the greatest amount of snow in a single storm. The storm gave these two cities nearly half of their average seasonal snowfall. In Wisconsin, 35 inches of snow was reported and Superior and 30 inches was measured at Iron River. 8 to 15 inches fell in northwestern Iowa with Estherville, IA receiving 15 inches. Further south, ice was the main problem. The Omaha, NE/Council Bluffs area in Iowa had over an inch of freezing rain causing the cancellation of Halloween. All told, utility damage was estimated near $63 million dollars in Iowa alone. The ice and snow did not melt easily as sub-freezing temperatures lingered over the area for a week. Freezing rain and sleet fell across south central Kansas. This precipitation caused extensive tree and power line damage. Two inches of ice accumulated in some spots. Derby, Mulvane, and Haysville were hardest hit. Tree limbs up to 10 inches in diameter were snapped off and caused widespread electrical outages. Behind the storm brought record lows of -9° at Laramie, WY, -8° at Alliance, Lusk and Harrison, NE, -6° at Scottsbluff, NE and -1° at Valentine, NE..
Pueblo CO reported 16.5 inches of snow during the month to set a record for October.
Record cold continued across the central and southern U.S. with many new record lows set or tied. Corpus Christi, Texas dipped to 28°, to set not only its coldest temperature for October, but for November as well. Brownsville, Texas dropped to 35°, to set an all-time record low for October for the location.
Other daily record lows for the date included: Rapid City, SD: -2°, Aberdeen, SD: 10°-Tied, Lincoln, NE: 11°, Sioux City, IA: 12°, Sioux Falls, SD: 13°-Tied, Concordia, KS: 14°, Rochester, MN: 15°, Omaha, NE: 15°, Dodge City, KS: 16°, Oklahoma City, OK: 16°, Kansas City, MO: 17°, Springfield, MO: 18°, Wichita, KS: 18°, Tulsa, OK: 18°, Topeka, KS: 19°, Wichita Falls, TX: 21°, Columbia, MO: 22°, Abilene, TX: 23°, Fort Smith, AR: 24°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 25°, Waco, TX: 25°, San Angelo, TX: 26°, Jackson, MS: 26°-Tied, San Antonio, TX: 27°, Dallas, TX: 27°, Del Rio, TX: 28°, Shreveport, LA: 28°, Meridian, MS: 28°-Tied, Dallas (DFW), TX: 29°, Houston, TX: 29°, Montgomery, AL: 29°, Austin, TX: 30°, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: 30°, Baton Rouge, LA: 30°, Lake Charles, LA: 30°, Mobile, AL: 30°, Tallahassee, FL: 30°, Victoria, TX: 31°, Memphis, TN: 31°-Tied, Pensacola, FL: 32°, New Orleans, LA: 35°, Jacksonville, FL: 38°, Galveston, TX: 39°, Daytona Beach, FL: 41°-Tied, Orlando, FL: 44° and Vero Beach, FL: 48°-Tied.
A commuter airliner crashed near Roselawn, IL, killing all 68 people on-board. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that icing on the aircraft's control surfaces led to the crash. The board found that ice on the ailerons disrupted the air flow around them and caused the plane to roll upside down. The crash led to research that has led to more accurate icing forecasts for aviation, leading to safer flying.
A ridge of high pressure brought record highs from parts of the northern Plains to the Southwest including: Rapid City, SD: 81°, Redding, CA: 80°-Tied, Scottsbluff, NE: 79°, Bismarck, ND: 77°, Grand Forks, ND: 77°, Williston, ND: 75°-Tied, International Falls, MN: 71° and Flagstaff, AZ: 70°.
A major storm struck the northern coast of Alaska bringing winds gusting as high as 155 mph.
Victoria, British Columbia Canada reported its coldest Halloween night ever as the temperatures dropped to 26°.
Milford, UT had its wettest month on record with 4.83 inches of rain.
Alta, Utah was buried under 81.0 inches of snow for the month for its snowiest October on record.
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