Halloween Forecast: Snow, Cold to Blast East; Rain to Soak West Coast
By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
October 30, 2014, 9:10:20 AM EDT
For the latest Halloween outlook for 2014, click here.
A shocking blast of cold air and the potential for snow will highlight the weather for millions in the Eastern states this Halloween into the first weekend of November.
Meanwhile, another storm will hit the Pacific coast with rain as far south as Southern California by Friday night.
Dry weather is forecast to prevail elsewhere on Halloween.
Winterlike Cold, Spotty Snow for the East, Great Lakes
Parts of the East and Midwest will experience four seasons of weather in about four days leading up to the Halloween weekend. Late-summerlike warmth will be followed by springlike showers and thunderstorms, then cool autumn air and finally wintry winds and even snow in some locations.
Kids and adults partaking in the Friday evening Masquerade will need to bundle up and should consider bringing along a light or reflective items to increase visibility for passing motorists. Spotty rain will stretch from the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes to the central and southern Appalachians, as temperatures begin to tumble.
AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures will plunge into the 20s around the Great Lakes and into the 30s around the Ohio Valley on Friday evening. RealFeel Temperatures will range from the 30s in the Appalachians to the middle 40s to low 50s along the East coast and mid-Atlantic and the 30s over the interior Northeast during Friday evening. However, that is likely to be the warmest part of the weekend.
Snowflakes that appear around Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh on Friday evening will be a sign of what lies ahead for parts of the Appalachians Friday night and perhaps some areas close to the Atlantic coast on later this weekend.
A storm riding a blast of cold air will drop southeastward from the Great Lakes to the mid-Atlantic coast on Saturday. The storm could take a left turn on Sunday, perhaps catching part of New England.
The track and strength of that storm will determine the extent of rain changing to snow versus a sweep of dry air along the Appalachians and I-95 corridor, and whether or not a major snowfall occurs over part of New England.
Parts of the central and southern Appalachians will receive their first accumulating snow of the season, including southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, eastern Tennessee.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist John Gresiak, "Snow may fall as far south as the mountains of northern Georgia."
The combination of snow and remaining foliage could lead to fallen trees and power lines.
According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The highest elevations of West Virginia may receive between 1 and 2 feet of snow."
"The period around Halloween certainly has been a ghostly time for winter storms."
There have been multiple snow events around Halloween over recent years, including during Sandy in 2012, the Nor'easter of 2011 and the elevation snowstorm of 2008.
In the case of this storm, areas along I-95 from Richmond, Virginia to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City will likely not get cold enough, fast enough for snow. There should be nothing more than a couple of flurries at the tail end. Any snowflakes would melt on paved surfaces.
The scenario with a weak storm tracking out to sea would leave much of New England with no snow accumulation. However, a strong storm turning to the north could bring heavy snow from portions of Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts and Maine. Given the warm ground and road surface temperatures this time of the year, it would have to snow very hard to accumulate, especially during the daylight hours. Snow would have an easier time sticking to elevated surfaces such as bridges, lawns, and trees.
Gusty winds on the backside of the storm, snow or not, will send RealFeel Temperatures into the lower 20s in the lower Great Lakes and Appalachians and into the lower 30s along much of I-95 to Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston Saturday into Sunday.
Storm to Raise Hope in California, Dampen Spirits in Northwest
The train of storms from last week will continue in the Northwest through this week, including on Halloween.
Clouds and rain are in the offing in San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Showers will push well inland during Friday evening to parts of northern Nevada and Idaho. Rain may taper by evening activities in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
Some rain will reach southward into the Los Angeles area on Friday evening.
Similar to the Northeast, motorists should be extra careful due to the low visibility and slick conditions caused by the rain since little ghosts and goblins will roam the neighborhoods.
Snow levels will lower in the Sierra Nevada during the first part of the Halloween weekend. Several inches are possible at Donner Pass, California, along I-80 from later Friday night into Saturday.
Dry for Much of the Balance of the Nation
It will feel like Halloween on Friday in much of the South with the cooler air and a breeze erasing the record-challenging warmth from early this week.
Some of the best weather in the nation for trick-or-treating activities will stretch from the Plains and Texas to Arizona and southern Nevada.
Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com for updates on the Halloween forecast, especially for areas on the edge of accumulating snow in the Northeast and the southward advance of the rain in the West.
This story was authored by AccuWeather.com Meteorologists Brett Rathbun and Alex Sosnowski.
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