UPDATE 10/16: The snow and power outages continue, and I have a snowfall map on this newer blog entry.
UPDATE: CentreDaily.com says the following records were broken:
+ Earliest measured snowfall. The previous record was 1 inch of snow that fell Oct. 17, 1977.
+ Snowiest October ever. Previous record snowfall for October was 3.1 inches in 2002.
+ Coldest Oct. 15 on record, with a high of just 39 degrees
+ Most snowfall on Oct. 15-16. The total measured 4.7 inches at Penn State's University Park campus.
+ Wettest Oct. 15-16 on record, with 1.33 inches of water
Here's an updated list of snow totals:
Centre Hall (Summit): 9.0"
Pocono Summit: 6.1"
Port Matilda, Stormstown, Park Forest: 6.0"
UPDATE: Here are some photos of the damage I took on the way to work this morning:
UPDATE 7 AM 10/16/2009:
I'm really flabbergasted by the amount of snow and damage here in State College, PA, as are many of the meteorologists at AccuWeather. Best estimates are that we have 7 inches of snow here at AccuWeather HQ with probably more on the nearby ridges. Get outside of town, amounts decrease rapidly.
Here are some pictures I took yesterday with the fall foliage and snow.
It really seems that, for once, we were the epicenter of the snow. Over 10,000 are without power according to the local paper (which, up until 7 AM this morning referred to the event as "heavy precipitation" not snow). As I said yesterday, this broke the record for earliest measurable snowfall, and probably daily, perhaps October total snowfall. Trees and limbs are down everywhere; school is closed. I'm uploading pictures of the damage now - this morning I was within about a minute of a large branch closing a major road north of AccuWeather HQ!
And the craziest thing: There will be more snow tonight, to the tune of at least 5 inches according to AccuWeather.com - for some forecast models it's over a foot!
Here are the highest amounts so far:
State College, PA: 7.0"*
Stormstown, PA: 6.0"
Wellsville, NY: 5.5"
Pleasant Gap, PA: 5.0"
UPDATE: You can see all of my photos here. Park Forest, where many of these photos were taken, measured 6 inches. A report from the mountain top at Centre Hall indicated 9", and this marks Penn State's earliest significant snow fall ever, in 113 years of records.
UPDATE: You can also read about a Nor'easter ahead of Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 that dropped two feet of snow in New England. The D.C. Weather Examiner has also published an article similar to this one about Washington, D.C. October snows.
UPDATE: Added info at bottom in regards to specific October snows that I examined.
UPDATE 9 PM: I took about 30 photos on the way home from AccuWeather, check them out here. Looking at the storm reports from the PA NWS offices, it appears we may have gotten the worst of it here in Centre County. I measured 3 inches at AccuWeather at 5 PM, maybe only 2 at my house 2 miles away so it is variable. The highest NWS reports so far:
Tobyhanna, PA: 4.0"
Haneyville, PA: 3.3"
Boalsburg, PA: 3.0"
Lake Harmony, PA: 3.0"
It's really quite unusual because we generally get less, not more snow, than surrounding areas. Allegheny Power says (surprisingly) only 370 customers are currently without power. That's the good news. The bad news, it's still snowing and I think the wind's picking up. Could be interesting.
UPDATE 5 PM: Been really busy today, sorry for lack of updates... posted a photo to Facebook, several inches of snow here. I am really worried about downed trees and power lines, heading out to take more pictures now. Locally, the record earliest snowfall has been confirmed and the parade has been canceled.
ORIGINAL REPORT: 2 PM 10/15/2009: Snow is now accumulating here in State College and we're posting a video of myself, Henry and Joe Bastardi frolicking in the snow outside of AccuWeather HQ, to our Facebook Page!
Extreme lake-effect snow fell south and east of Buffalo, New York, this week, but is it a record? Not even close... so far.
The second shot of reinforcing cold air from last week's polar vortex invasion is coming in -- as more than half the nation is snow-covered.
Yes, that term "polar vortex" is back in the news. Please take this arctic outbreak for the serious meteorological beast that it is; see stats and maps here.
Ladies and gentlemen... we have a record-breaker. The most powerful storm in recorded North Pacific history has hit the Alaskan islands.
The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have been plagued with rain this week, and it's not slowing down until later this weekend.
Is this Jupiter's "red spot?" No, but it might be the most intense storm on Earth this year, and perhaps in recorded history for the Bering Strait and Alaska.