Historic, rare October snowstorm taking aim at U.S. East Coast

CLEVELAND - "LIKE" Mark on Facebook for exclusive weather information: Mark Johnson WEWS

Normally, I wouldn't say a whole lot about snow along the East Coast. It happens in winter all the time. But this one is different.

It's not winter yet: It's not even Halloween. This weekend's snow storm for our friends in Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City and Boston will likely be HISTORIC, and it will definitely affect you, if you are traveling that way next week or expecting a package or service from out east.

Here's the situation: A good old-fashioned mid-winter type N'oreaster is going to wind up along the Carolina Coast tonight. It will pull some very cold air into itself from the north. While rain and high winds are likely along the immediate coast, heavy snow is the forecast for inland areas including the big cities I mentioned above.

Remember: It's still October. Currently, more than 25 million people are under a Winter Storm WATCH for Saturday. Heavy snow will accumulate to perhaps 12 inches or more over parts of the watch from Roanoke, Virginia to Bangor, Maine area by Sunday evening.

The leaves are still on the trees. This heavy, wet snow will do damage to millions of trees and leaves many, many thousands of residents without power.

This is a significant event. 3 inches of snow will likely fall in New York City on Saturday. Not alot, right? But wait: Only three times since 1869 has measurable snow fallen in Central Park prior to Halloween: 1876 (.5"), 1925 (.8"), 1952 (.5"). Here are the October snowfall records for the big cities along the East Coast. Look for many, if not all, of these records to be smashed this weekend.

Boston, Mass. - 1.1" in 2005
Hartford, Ct. - 1.7" in 1979
Worchester, Mass. - 7.5" in 1979
Providence, RI. - 2.5" in 1979
New York City - 0.8" in 1925
Baltimore, MD - 2.5" in 1925
Washington, DC - 2.2" in 1925

Does an early snowstorm mean a brutal winter is on the way? Does this mean our winter will be a monster this year as well? You can catch my exclusive winter forecast this Sunday night at 7 p.m. on "Power of 5: Winter Survival Guide" only on NewsChannel5. Plus, we will have live chat during the show on newsnet5.com. AND follow us on TWITTER! We will use the hashtag: #ohsnow. So, watch and chat with us! See you then.

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