Even the Washington Post admits to this one.
“The ongoing cold is off the charts, with an air mass more typical of December or January than late October,” the Post admits.
26 Oct 2020 – Arctic blast brings minus-29 degree (-33.9) cold to Montana as snow and ice plaster central U.S.
The blast of frigid Arctic air that descended over the Western United States toppled records far and wide as readings plummeted to some 40 degrees F below average for this time of year.
Potomac, Montana — the coldest temperature ever observed this early in the season across the Lower 48
Temperatures throughout much of the Rockies dipped below zero (-17.8C) to start the week, falling as low as minus-29.2 in Potomac, Montana., early Sunday — the coldest temperature ever observed this early in the season across the Lower 48.
Winter storm and ice storm warnings are up for most of Colorado, New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, while winter weather advisories stretch northeast into Kansas City toward Iowa. Behind the system, wind chills were expected to drop to minus-25 in the Intermountain West on Monday night.
Montana cold records shattered
In addition to Sunday’s reading of nearly 30 below, a slew of other records have come crashing down courtesy of the early-season Arctic outbreak. Missoula set a record for its earliest zero-degree reading observed, hitting minus-7 on Monday morning. Anaconda, a town of 9,000 in western Montana, was forecast to drop to minus-23 degrees Monday morning; its previous record was 5 degrees.
“I talked with a climatologist in Alaska,” said Corby Dickerson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Missoula. “He said that there are 14.5 million observations [across the country] in the database between October 1 and October 25, and Potomac was the coldest. It’s truly remarkable. There’s no other way to describe it.”
A once-in-a-century event
Two out of the past three mornings have been among Missoula’s coldest three ever recorded in October, and more records will probably fall later in the week.
“I’ve been describing it as a once-in-a-century event,” Dickerson said.
Missoula also logged its eighth-biggest snowstorm on record, with a hefty 13.8 inches falling in just two days.
It’s not just the Northern Tier that’s been dealing with record cold. Boulder, Colo., snagged a record Monday morning when it dipped to 5 degrees; the previous record for the date, set in 1997, was 13 degrees.
The core of the cold — some 40 to 45 degrees below average in spots — should diminish in intensity and shift south and east mid- to late week.
Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link