It may only be October, but winter has already arrived in parts of the country — with potentially record-breaking snowstorms.
This week, temperatures have dropped across much of the north-central United States, as a major snowstorm, which has been named Winter Storm Abby, threatens to break October snowfall records, according to The Weather Channel.
The National Weather Service office in Bismarck has referred to the storm, which could touch parts of 10 states, as a “potentially historic October winter storm.”
As of Thursday afternoon, parts of Colorado had already been hit with up to 6 in. of snow, with 2.1 in. reported in Denver, according to KDVR. The station notes that the average date for the city’s first snowfall is October 18.
The snowfall came as the city recorded its biggest-ever one-and two-day temperature drops in October; on Wednesday, Denver recorded a high of 83 degrees, before dropping to just 19 degrees by Thursday morning.
As of Thursday morning, there were reports of at least three separate crashes involving over 20 cars in Colorado, according to KCNC-TV. Additionally, many flights have been delayed from Denver International Airport.
Alright, #Denver — it’s officially snowing out there and our traffic crash report count since 6AM is now at 53. We can do this — everyone take some calming breaths, slow down, turn your lights & wipers on and we can all get to where we’re going safely. #CommuteResponsibly #Snow pic.twitter.com/VbToPe7UMv— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) October 10, 2019
By Thursday morning, 8 in. of snow had already been reported in Rapid City, South Dakota, while some areas in North Dakota had already seen up to 5.5 in., according to The Weather Channel.
“Crippling blizzard” conditions are also possible in the Dakotas, according to the National Weather Service, as the storm picks up more force over the weekend.
Washington’s Spokane International Airport broke a snowfall record set almost 40 years ago, recording 3.3 in. of snow on Tuesday, according to USA Today.
Following the storm, over 32,000 customers were left without power.
Montana has also been hit by the winter storms, as temperatures in Billings, Montana fell from 74 to 25 degrees in 24 hours, according to the outlet.
“It’s going to be really cold out there, and a spectacular winter storm for early October, much earlier than normal,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Geoff Cornish, warning of “nasty winds.”