Three people died and more than 2.3 million homes have lost power as the US East Coast has been hit by an unusual early period snowstorm.
New York City has been hit by more than one inch of snowfall before Halloween for the first time ever – with experts predicting much more on the way.
It was reported that an 84-year-old man from Pennsylvania died when a tree crashed into his house in Temple on Saturday afternoon, while he was having a nap in his recliner chair. He was killed “instantly” according to police.
Another death was in Colchester Connecticut, according to Governor Dannel Malloy who warned that some parts of the state could expect as much as 18 inches of snow.
A third man in his 20s died in Springfield, Massachusetts, after he ignored police warnings and cross a barricade around a downed power line. The man was killed when he touched a metal guard rail that was charged.
There are reports saying that some places in mid-Atlantic states saw more than half a foot of snow on Saturday and approximately 250,000 customers lost power in Pennsylvania and Maryland, requiring utility crews from Ohio and Kentucky to fix it.
More than 1,000 flights into or out of the United States were cancelled today, with New York particularly affected. JFK airport had around 230 called off by 5:00 p.m. local time.
According to meteorologists, about 60 million people will experience the rare October snowstorm, which should unleash heavy, wet snow and wind, causing fallen tree branches and potential travel chaos.
Halloween weekend looks set to see huge amounts of sleet and snow covering the North East, invariably causing power outages and travel chaos.
In New York City By, 1.3 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park by 2:00 p.m.; never before in October has an inch of snow fallen on a given day in New York City, AccuWeather reported.
AccuWather website reported 10 inches of snow in Ogletown, Pennsylvania, 9.5 inches in Frostburg, Maryland, and 8.5 inches in Lost River, West Virginia.
New York has received measurable snow before Halloween only three times since 1869 – and never more than one inch, as happened today.
The heaviest snow is forecast for later in the day on Sunday in the Massachusetts Berkshires, the Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut, southwestern New Hampshire and the southern Green Mountains.
Chris Vaccaro, a NWS spokesman said:
“It’s going to be wet, sticky and gloppy. It’s not going to be a dry, fluffy snow.”
The snowstorm comes on a busy weekend for many along the Eastern Seaboard, with trick-or-treaters going door-to-door in search of Halloween booty, hunting season opening in some states and a full slate of college and pro football scheduled.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy warned residents that they could lose power due to the anticipated wet, heavy snow.
The heaviest snows are expected between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. this evening, although the temperatures could bring light snow throughout the night.
According to meteorologists, the storm is expected to come hard and fast, with the heaviest snow set for the Virginia and West Virginia border through eastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York state, northwestern New Jersey, northern Connecticut, Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.
Six inches of snow has already fallen in New England, where is also expected to be powerful winds which could be very dangerous – bringing down trees and power lines.
Temperatures in the 30s and 40s and wind chills in the 20s will make it feel like winter has truly arrived.
Forecasters at weather.com say the heaviest amounts of snow will fall in parts of Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, upstate New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
“Precipitation will start as rain in these locations, but may change over to snow. How quickly this occurs and how much snow falls is dependent on the availability of enough cold air, which is difficult to forecast early in the season.”