Record snowfall hits parts of Midwest as storm strikes East Coast, bringing outages
A classic strong fall storm is moving through the Northeast U.S. this morning — the same storm that brought snow to the Midwest on Halloween, as well as severe storms along its cold front on Thursday afternoon and evening across the eastern U.S.
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Chicago saw a high of 35 degrees on Thursday, making it the third coldest Halloween high since 1871 and the coldest Halloween since 1917. Chicago also set a new record for Halloween with snowfall, receiving 3.4 inches of snow.
With 5.1 inches of new snow in Madison, Wisconsin, their monthly total is now 8.1 inches of snow, which is now their snowiest October on record.
There were more than 200 reports of damaging winds across a large part of the East Coast on Thursday afternoon into this morning. Wind gusts of 65 miles per hour were reported in Ocean County, New Jersey, earlier this morning.
Duxbury, Massachusetts, has reported a 54 mph wind gust and WABC in New York is reporting downed trees and powerlines in parts of the New York city metropolitan area this morning.
And in Ambler, Pennsylvania, emergency crews spent more than an hour trying to rescue an elderly couple after a large tree fell on their home late Thursday night. Firefighters used a crane to help with the rescue amid pouring rain and gusty winds. The couple, a 70- and 80-year-old, were transported to a local hospital, according to Philadelphia ABC station WPVI.
Elsewhere, 5 inches of rain fell in central New York resulting in a flash flood emergency for parts of Herkimer County, where there were reports of flooded roadways and downed power lines and trees. There were also a number of water rescues throughout the night.
Heavy rain has caused streams and rivers to rise in parts of New York, and some flooding will be an issue in parts of the state throughout Friday.
The weather has also caused power outages across at least five states. In New York, 216,493 customers were without power as of early Friday morning. Pennsylvania also had 202,084 customers out, while 84,133 were without power in Connecticut and 63,496 in Virginia. And on the West Coast, there were 72,070 customers in the dark in California, mostly due to the ongoing wildfires.
Ahead of an upcoming cold front, temperatures Thursday surged into the 60s and 70s along the East Coast. On Friday, temperatures in some regions will be stuck in the 40s and 50s. Cleveland yesterday reached 65 degrees, whereas today they will only reach 42.
This morning, precipitation will move northeastward and away from the U.S. Some lingering showers can be expected in parts of the interior Northeast. However, winds will be significant through much of the day today — especially in parts of New York close to the Great Lakes, where wind gusts could reach 65 mph.
Wind alerts are in effect for a large part of the Northeast, including the cities of New York and Boston, where wind gusts could reach 45 mph this morning. Downed trees, downed power lines, flight delays, and rail delays will be possible today in the Northeast.
Behind this storm, the cold air is surging across the entire Central U.S. Wind chills this morning are in the 20s even in parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Atlanta even has a wind chill of 26 this morning.
In Chicago and Green Bay wind chills are in the teens. In Ohio yesterday, people were likely in short-sleeved shirts with temperatures in the 60s; Friday morning, winter jackets are out as wind chills are in the 20s.
While the core of the cold does not reach the East, we’re still looking at widespread wind chills in the 30s up and down the East Coast for Saturday. It will definitely be the coldest winds seen so far this year.
In California, the Santa Ana winds are beginning to subside, but there is still some critical fire danger in Southern California today, with still very dry, gusty winds likely.
The Maria Fire in Santa Paula, California, exploded to 5,000 acres overnight. Wind gusts at the Maria Fire in Ventura County are over 30 mph this morning as the fire spreads in the direction where relative humidity values are as low as 6%.
There is still critical fire weather conditions today in parts of Southern California, but the good news is the winds are not nearly as strong as Wednesday and Thursday. However it is still gusty and still very dry.
Wind gusts today could reach 35 mph in parts of Los Angeles and Ventura County, and relative humidity could be as low as 4%.
ABC News’ Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.