Anomalously cold temps will continue to ravage Spokane this week with residents still suffering from the power outages brought about by Tuesday’s surprise October snowstorm.
Trees hadn’t even had the chance to show off their fall colors, before Tuesday’s surprise snow arrived snapping branches in the middle of the night, cutting power to tens of thousands of homes and forcing Spokane Public Schools to declare a snow day, reports the spokesman.com.
The damage reminded Gene Cory, who’s lived in the area for 33 years, of the aftermath of Spokane’s ice storm of 1996 (solar minimum of cycle 22).
“The  ice storm wasn’t this bad, the damage at least,” Cory said while clearing branches on Manito Boulevard with several neighbors. “It brought a lot of trees down, but nothing like this.”
Checking with the record books, the 3.3 inches (8.4 cm) of snow that accumulated at the Spokane International Airport on Tuesday, October 8th will go down as a new all-time daily record, busting the previous one of a trace from back in 1981.
Tuesday also marked the city’s second snowiest October day ever — beaten only by the 5.9 inches (15 cm) which fell back in 1957.
Avista Utilities reported that more than 32,000 customers were without power by the early hours of Wednesday. The company said it had 40 teams working to repair power lines and clear tree branches, though admitted it could still take an extra two-or-more days to restore power for some customers.
Spokane Fire Chief, Brian Schaeffer said his department received 120 calls as the snow began snapping branches. Three teams of firefighters worked overnight to clear debris from emergency routes.
The city’s snow plow fleet isn’t usually prepared until late October, but crews were readied earlier this year following the historic early season snow which hit at the end of September.
In the 35 years Stoddard Hodgson has lived in Spokane, he’s never seen so much snow this early, he said, while helping neighbors clear branches.
“It was like 55 degrees last night. Who expected snow?” Hodgson said. “It’s a freak of nature.”
It’s the Grand Solar Minimum, Hodgson.
And surprise snow was reported elsewhere through Tuesday, too.
4 inches (10.1 cm) fell on Snoqualmie Pass, 6 inches (15.2 cm) at Mount Baker, and 11 inches (28 cm) on Stevens Pass, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.
And there’s more of the same to come.
The GFS is picking up on some truly historic totals.
Regions WILL be buried this weekend.
A myriad of all time cold records WILL fall.
And already-delayed harvests WILL be further negatively impacted, with grain futures surpassing two-month highs this week as a result of what’s about to hit:
GFS TOTAL SNOWFALL (inches) OCT 10 – OCT 26
In addition, biting Arctic cold will have gripped the majority of North America by the weekend.
GFS TEMP ANOMALY (C) for SAT, OCT 12
The cold times are returning in line with historically low solar activity:
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift