America’s East Coast is pinching itself with surprise: Halloween might be right around the corner, but it is snowing like mid-winter, with New York hit by only its fourth October snowfall since the Civil War.
New England has already borne the brunt of this unexpected curve in Mother Nature’s diagrams. Accumulation of up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) high left over 10,000 residents in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia without power on Saturday, and led to minor traffic accidents, AccuWeather.com reported.
The storm disrupted air traffic at Newark Airport, where flights were delayed, while planes heading to the New York area’s other two airports, JFK and LaGuardia, and to Philadelphia were not allowed to depart until early afternoon.
This was no Christmas fairytale, either: instead of fluffy snowflakes, what came down was a heavy mess of sleet, rain and wet snow.
In New York City, snow began to fall in bursts on Saturday morning, accumulating on rooftops and cars by afternoon. It was only the fourth pre-Halloween snowstorm in Gotham since recordkeeping began 135 years ago.
The seasons’ follies, however, do not seem to have dampened the determination of Occupy Wall Street protesters. But what will happen to the anti-corruption demonstrators in New York is yet to be seen. On Friday, when temperatures dropped rapidly, the city’s Fire Department removed six gas-powered generators and 13 cans of gasoline from their camp in Zuccotti Park, ostensibly for safety’s sake.
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail newspaper reports that several members of Occupy Denver have already been taken to hospital for hypothermia.
Forecasters say the worst is yet to come on Sunday in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and upstate New York. If Allentown in Pennsylvania gets the projected 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow, it will break the city’s October record of 2.2 inches (6 centimeters), set on Halloween in 1925.
With the accumulation across the East Coast predicted to range from a dusting of snow to about 10 inches (25 centimeters) high, officials are warning of more power outages and blocked roads. Still, they add, this early storm says little about what kind of weather may hit the US this winter.