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ICYMI: Wintery weather wreaks havoc on parts of US as firefighters finally contain a major blaze out West

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 4 days ago AccuWeather Staff

What a difference a week makes. The United States avoided impact with major storms and wildfire development during this first full week of November, and firefighters have finally gotten one of the large blazes out West under control. However, wintery conditions still plagued some people across the Central states, while in the eastern part of the globe, tropical activity continued to blossom. Here's a look at the week in weather news.

Snow, ice cause slick and deadly roadways in the North

Roadways coated with ice and snow triggered treacherous conditions for drivers throughout the North Central states. An Alberta Clipper swept quickly across the region on Tuesday night, dipping into the northern Plains and covering the region with up to an inch of snow. Snowplow drivers were kept busy.

Meanwhile, there were accidents and travel disruptions galore into Wednesday in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and at least one of those crashes was deadly.

On Tuesday night in Sioux Falls, a Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling northbound on Interstate 229 rolled down a ditch and slammed into a tree after the 15-year-old driver lost control, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. The driver was killed, and a 16-year-old passenger was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The mangled wreck from the serious accident pictured below also resulted from the driver losing control on slick roads.

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A driver in South Dakota lost control of a vehicle after it hit a patch of ice. The South Dakota Highway Patrol reported that the driver and passenger sustained life-threatening injuries.(Twitter/@SDHighwayPatrol)

Minnesota drivers had to deal with multiple accidents and spinouts on their Wednesday-morning commutes, and the snow shut down dozens of roads at one point. In both Wisconsin and Minnesota, some areas received above 3 inches of snow. Brownsville and Ostrander, Minnesota, had 6 inches each through Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota farmers - 0, Weather - 1

That snowfall earlier this week did not make life easy for farmers in Minnesota. Farmers having to battle the challenging weather elements have reported a difficult year in the west-central portion of the state, with low crop production due to wet summer and fall seasons.

This video gives a sense of what farmers working in Graceville, Minnesota, had to cope with on Nov. 6.

Record snowfall amounts reported in several spots

Brr! The frigid conditions overtaking the central U.S. brought not only a taste of winter, but also some record-setting snow across a number of locations this past week. Take Milwaukee for example, which saw a new record of 3 inches set on Nov. 6. This breaks the old record of 2.1 inches set in 1951.

A new record was also set in Muskegon, Michigan, where 6.2 inches of snowfall on Wednesday shattered the previous Nov. 6, record of 2 inches set in 1941.

Other spots with record snowfall totals include Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with 1.5 inches that replaced the previous record of 0.8 of an inch set in 2012; and La Crosse, Wisconsin, where the regional airport's report of 4.5 inches on Wednesday broke the 1988 record of 1.6 inches.

Heroic tales emerge after now-extinguished Kincade Fire 

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Over 77,000 acres were burned, 374 structures destroyed, and four people were injured over the span of two weeks as the Kincade Fire wreaked havoc in Sonoma County, California. Firefighters have now fully contained the blaze, and the fire was considered extinguished at 7 p.m., local time, on Nov. 6, according to Cal Fire.

As the smoke settles, incredible stories of heroism have emerged from the ashes. Jeff Thompson was one of the people who lost nearly everything in the wildfire. Despite the fact that his house was already well ablaze, some brave Ophir Hill firefighters, led by Cpt. John Nelson, searched for and salvaged what they could in just three minutes.

They were able to save family photos and some special items including a 200-year-old bible. They placed what they could rescue inside a pump house. "It's just above and beyond," Thompson said. Watch the full story of heroism here.

Historic Halong becomes 2019's strongest North Pacific super typhoon

Halong made history earlier this week. The super typhoon, which developed on Saturday east of the Mariana Islands, is now the strongest western North Pacific super typhoon to have formed in 2019, with winds up to 180 mph, according to Colorado State University Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach. The storm did not impact land and had weakened to a tropical storm by Friday.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, Nakri developed into a typhoon in the South China Sea and will bring a flood risk to Vietnam through the weekend.

Powerful tornado tears through southern Greece

A strong and destructive tornado caused a mess when it hit a food processing factory in southern Greece on Nov. 4. The startling video shows roof tiles and panels flying all over the place as the twister's winds bear down. Factory workers were able to escape serious injury, Fox News reported. The tornado touched down Monday at 1 p.m., local time, about 145 miles southwest of Athens. Watch the dramatic footage of the tornado here.

India faces double tropical trouble

In the Arabian Sea, Maha became the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane on Monday.

Earlier in the week, Maha blossomed into the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane in the Arabian Sea. It formed near southeastern India at midweek last week and has slowly moved northwestward while getting stronger.

AccuWeather meteorologists report that Maha became an extremely severe cyclonic storm on Nov. 4, before impacting the Gujarat region of western India, with dangerous seas, heavy rain and strong winds.

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This satellite loop shows Cyclonic Storm Bulbul across the northern Bay of Bengal on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Image/NOAA)

In the Bay of Bengal, Bulbul is threatening to bring flooding and damaging winds across northeast India and southern Bangladesh. It's currently strengthening in the northern Bay of Bengal, where it formed, and was previously known as Tropical Storm Matmo in the West Pacific when it hit Vietnam last week.

Bulbul quickly gathered strength, growing from a deep depression into a tropical cyclone on Thursday morning. By Friday morning, it was a severe cyclonic storm. Klotzbach said it's "the first storm to be named in the western North Pacific and then travel into the North Indian Ocean and become a named storm again since Wilma in 2013."

Heavy snow kills three in Himalayan Kashmir

a car covered in snow © Provided by Accuweather, Inc
A snow-covered vehicle drives past as it snows in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. The region received its first snow on Wednesday, bringing temperatures down drastically and affecting air and vehicular traffic. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

While parts of India were dealing with a tropical threat, areas situated in higher elevations dealt with a robust snowstorm.

According to the Associated Press, three people were killed in Himalayan Kashmir on Thursday. The storm left many roads closed and damaged power lines.


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