Cold winds to pelt northeastern US with 1st snowflakes of season, local power outages and damage

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
October 17, 2018, 10:12:41 PM EDT

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Blasts of cold air will not only bring the lowest temperatures of the season so far to the northeastern United States but also the first snowflakes of the season to some areas and the risk of damaging wind gusts into this weekend.

"Grab your coat and hold onto your hat," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

"The cold shots coming in through the rest of October will have gusty winds by day, but even where the wind settles down at night, it will still feel cold," Pastelok said.

The leading edge of a new blast of cold air swept through the Northeast at midweek, bringing with it gusty winds and rain and snow showers.

Some of the higher elevations of the Alleghenies, Catskills, Adirondacks and Green and White mountains may receive a small accumulation of snow into Thursday morning.

NE regional 10.17 PM


Winds will diminish from west to east across the Midwest and Northeast into Thursday night.

Frost and freeze conditions will extend much farther south and east on Thursday night, compared to Wednesday night.

Static Frost Freeze Thursday Night


A frost to end the growing season is likely in parts of the Ohio Valley, portions of the mid-Atlantic coast and much of the northern New England coast.

"Frosty air is also likely to dip into the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait.

This won't be the last of the cold blasts in the short term, however.

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Following a warmup from west to east on Friday, a new and potentially more potent blast of cold air will follow this weekend.

When compared to the midweek blast, temperatures may dip a few degrees lower this weekend.

The new invasion of cold air will be accompanied by gusty winds, the risk of sporadic power outages and more snow showers around the Great Lakes and Appalachians.

Static Weekend Cold Blast


It is possible that some of the snow belts away from the immediate lake shore locations, especially with the cold blast this weekend.

Static Saturday NE


"It seems that Mother Nature is intent on skipping over traditional October weather this year," Pastelok said.

Most locations in the Upper Midwest and Northeast have experienced temperatures more typical of August and early September during the first 10 days this month.

During the first 10 days of October, cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., experienced temperatures that were 8-16 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

Since then, temperatures have averaged 6-12 degrees below average over a large part of the Midwest and are forecast to follow suit in the Northeast beginning at midweek. The Northeast had a little taste of what is in store with cold and blustery conditions last Saturday.

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