Strong storms could make for a frightful forecast

Posted at 10:42 AM, Oct 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-30 13:57:04-04

Your kids’ costumes are selected and you have your route around the neighborhood mapped out. There’s only one hurdle between your family and mounds of delicious Halloween loot: What will the weather be for Wednesday’s annual trek for treats?

The end of October can be a volatile time for weather around the country, as crisp autumn nights can quickly turn into winter-like scenes to match the costumed “Frozen” characters appearing at your door.

This year’s forecast features a strong cold front across the middle portion of the country, bringing some frightful weather to many Americans on Wednesday evening.

The cold front will separate a mild air mass to the south and east from a much colder one over the Midwest and Central Plains. Just ahead of the front will be a line of showers and thunderstorms that extends from Maine all the way to Texas.

The strongest storms will be across the South. Some could turn severe in parts of Eastern Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, where NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has issued an ‘enhanced risk’ for severe storms, with potential for damaging winds and even tornadoes.

While storms will not be as strong farther to the north, rainfall should be fairly widespread across much of the Ohio River Valley, the Eastern Great Lakes and into the Northeast by Halloween evening. In those parts of the country you’ll want to keep umbrellas handy for trick-or-treaters.

In Colorado a storm will bring several inches of snow to most of the Front Range region, prompting winter storm watches and advisories for portions of the state.

The Denver metro area could see snow on Halloween, though it should end early in the day and will just be chilly for evening outdoor activities. Snow will linger later in the day as you go south through Colorado, but it should be ending statewide by nightfall.

The other scariest region for weather on Wednesday will be the Northern Rockies, where a storm system will bring a range of wintry weather to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Temperatures will be seasonally cool across the region as well, although no part of the country will see temperatures on Halloween night that are significantly below average.

Ahead of the cold front, mild temperatures will keep Halloween night unseasonably warm for most of the eastern third of the country. For example, afternoon and evening temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s for much of the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys — 15 to 20 degrees above average.