A storm riding a blast of cold air will continue to unleash heavy snow on the central and southern Appalachians Saturday and will turn toward part of New England Saturday night and Sunday.
Heavy wet snow and falling trees could block some roads in parts of the Appalachians.
Even in the absence of heavy snow for the major cities, including along the I-95 corridor, gusty winds can lead to travel problems for a time. Flight delays are possible in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.
The same storm system brought the first snowflakes of the season to areas around Chicago and Detroit to Indianapolis and Cincinnati on Halloween evening.
More accumulating snow is in store for the mountains from southwestern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia through Saturday night.
The heaviest snow will fall in the area from western Maryland and West Virginia to western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.
According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, “The highest elevations from West Virginia to North Carolina could pick up a foot of snow.”
While the snow will melt or turn very slushy on major roads in the mountains, enough can fall to make some roads slippery.
Power outages will continue to be possible in parts of the central and southern Appalachians through Saturday as the weight of snow may bring down trees limbs and power lines. The risk will be highest for power outages as gusty winds accompany a push of cold air during and after the storm.
Wet snow and slush has already brought down trees and power lines around Greenville, South Carolina as of early Saturday morning, according to trained spotters in the area. Snow was reported as far south as Columbia, South Carolina, making it the earliest snowfall on record.
Snow is seen here on grassy surfaces near Interstate 85, southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. Image/S.C. DOT
Across the highest elevations in the area, snowfall observations have already topped a foot in some areas including Mount Leconte in Tennessee. Park Service employees reported 16 inches of snow as of Saturday morning.
A football game is scheduled to be played at Appalachian State University Saturday in Boone, North Carolina. Here’s the scene Saturday morning.
Snow continues to fall in Boone, North Carolina, the site of Appalachian State University. Maintenance staff are rushing to keep the football field clean and ready for a football game Saturday. Twitter/@appstequipment
A few snowflakes could fall east of the Carolina mountains, reaching Charlotte and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“For some areas in the central Appalachians forecast to be hit with heavy snow with the storm this weekend, the last major early season storm to bring heavy snow was from Sandy in 2012,” Abrams said.
There have been multiple snow events around Halloween over recent years in the Northeastern states, including the Nor’easter of 2011, Sandy in 2012 and the elevation snowstorm of 2008.
Farther to the north and east, it will be too warm for snow of significance on Saturday with this storm in the mid-Atlantic along the I-95, from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Hartford, Connecticut.
A wedge of dry air will also likely greatly limit snow showers from northern Pennsylvania to upstate New York and western and southern New England Saturday into Sunday.
However, as the storm strengthens off the mid-Atlantic coast, it will turn northward. A large part of Maine will catch the storm and cold air in such a way as to receive accumulating snow and strong winds.
People who live in or travel to northern Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which will be on the fringe of the snow, should also closely monitor the storm’s progress and check for updates on AccuWeather.com.
Regardless of the amount of snow this weekend, cold, gusty winds will continue through Sunday in the Northeast. Winds will diminish by Sunday in much of the South, but not before producing record challenging cold as far south as the Florida Keys.
Gusts in excess of 40 mph are possible over the mountains, in open areas, between buildings and on some of the bridges. The strongest winds will affect eastern New England, where the storm will strengthen. Gusts in some coastal areas of New England may reach 60 mph.
This weekend, many areas in the South and Northeast will have their coldest weather since last April.
AccuWeather RealFeel ® Temperatures will dip into the teens over much of the Appalachians and into the 20s along much of Piedmont areas of the South and along the from the mid-Atlantic to New England in the wake of the storm.
Runners partaking in the New York Marathon on Sunday will have strong, gusty winds in their face for part of the route and low RealFeel Temperatures.