Though many view fall as a transitionary season from summer to winter, it brings its share of tumultuous weather in the United States. Despite picturesque scenes of changing leaves and bare trees, the fall season threatens tropical systems, wildfire dangers, early-season snow and thick fog, among others.
Fall of 2012 became infamous for Superstorm Sandy, when it made landfall on the East Coast on the United States, but 2013 certainly had its share of devastating events.
September Rainfall Leaves Boulder, Colo., Underwater
When a storm unleashed more than 9 inches of rainfall over Boulder, Colo., beginning Sept. 11, it caused massive flooding and claimed three lives.
Rain fell at a rate of 1 inch per hour in the city, making roads impassible, trapping cars, collapsing one house and leaving residents in the mountainous parts of the city isolated without water, septic or sewer.
By Sept. 12, the city's emergency manager issued a local disaster and emergency declaration.
October Blizzard Dumps Feet of Snow on South Dakota
From Oct. 3 to Oct. 5, a powerful blizzard pummeled portions of South Dakota, dumping as much as 48 inches of snow in some locations. The worst of the blizzard hit the Black Hills region, bringing strong winds and white-out conditions.
For many, it was a storm that took their livelihood with it. The blizzard was blamed for the death of tens of thousands of cattle, impacting nearly half of the state, Jodie Anderson, the executive director of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association told AccuWeather.com.
The unseasonably early storm followed by a period of heavy rain resulted in hypothermia for animals that had not yet grown a thicker, winter coat. The combination was deadly, and economically-troublesome for the state and its area's cattle farmers.
Tropical Storm Karen Puts Southeast on High Alert
In early October, Tropical Storm Karen in the Atlantic basin threatened to make landfall in the southeastern United States.
Karen developed amid the government shutdown which resulted in the furlough of thousands of government offices, including many at the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service. As the storm neared the coast, however, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reactivated the Hurricane Liaison Team and deployed incident management teams to states which were forecast to be affected.
Though the storm had been downgraded to a tropical rainstorm by the time it reached the coast, it brought heavy downpours and strong winds to the Southeast. Remnants of the storm then moved up the Atlantic Coast, impacting the mid-Atlantic in the following days.
Strong Santa Ana Winds Cause Highest Fire Threat in Five Years for Southern California
The Los Angeles National Weather Service announced in early October that strong Santa Ana winds were resulting in the highest wildfire threat in the past five years.
With severe drought gripping much of the region, an abundance of dry vegetation made matters worse.
The Santa Anas delivered peak wind gusts of 60-70-mph throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and resulted in hazardous travel conditions, particularly for high-profile vehicles, in areas such as the Grapevine, Interstate 5 through the the Central Valley and Interstate 15 through the Cajon Pass toward Las Vegas.
While Santa Ana winds are typically strongest during the fall and winter months in Southern California, for a short period they overlap with the peak of the region's wildfire season.
Winds Whip Northeast, Great Lakes Knocking Out Power to Thousands
As a strong disturbance exited the Great Lakes in early November, strong winds whipped eastward toward the upper Atlantic coast.
New York City; Philadelphia; Boston; Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Maine; Toronto and Montreal were all in the line of fire.
The windy conditions caused travel delays at major Eastern airports including New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. La Guardia was reporting delays of up to three hours at times.
In Manhattan, winds as high as 40-mph resulted in the collapse of scaffolding near Times Square. Three were injured in the collapse, according to the New York Daily News.
More than 90,000 were reported without power at times in southern and northeastern Ontario, Environment Canada reported.
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While waves of arctic air will continue to pour across the Great Lakes and New England this weekend, milder air will surge farther northward early next week.
The cold reprieve unfolding across the United States will not last long with waves of chilly air set to invade many parts of the country in the days leading up to Christmas.
Urduja, known globally as Kai-tak, will continue to unleash life-threatening flooding rain and mudslides as it slowly crosses the Philippines into Monday.
Winds will again kick up and become strong, raising the risk of rapidly spreading wildfires in Northern and Southern California this weekend as firefighters continue to battle the Thomas Fire, which is now the third largest in the state's history.
After an unseasonably quiet start to December in the northwestern United States, a significant storm will set its sights on the region spanning Tuesday to Wednesday.
Southern Vietnam and the Malay Peninsula are being put on alert for potential impacts from Tropical Storm Kai-tak later next week after it finishes lashing the Philippines.
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